Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Michigan State University

Paris Between the Wars: Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

This is a guide to researching Paris between World Wars I and II, particularly from historical and literary perspectives.

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Historical Dictionary of Paris Main DC 704 .F5313 1998

See the bibliography pp. 185 to the end. There is a section, 2.5 on the 20th c. These are secondary sources, but the sources used by the authors of the books listed will have primary sources. There are a few maps here and a chronology of the history of the city as well as the dictionary. Might find an idea for a topic here, buildings, people, organizations, places… “In 1922 the Moulin Rouge was rebuilt, and Jacques Charles took charge of the shows, introducing Gertrude Hoffmann’s American girls, who were a big hit in the revue New York-Montmartre. In 1925 Mistinguett led the revue in which Jean Gabin made his debut. The biggest success was the 1926 revue, “Ça c’est Paris.”

Cambridge History of French Literature Main PQ 103 .C26 2011

See chapters 60-68, 71-73.

New History of French Literature Main PQ 119 .N48 1989

See pp. 855-948 for the interwar period. Discusses the authors and their works.

New Oxford Companion to Literature in French Reference PQ41 .N48 1995

p. 384 on annales school of history and bibl. On that page. P. 382 on histories of French lit. Chronology on pp. xlvii-xlix! Has lists of cultural history events and authors’ names for the Third Republic. P. 686 Third Republic.

Historical Dictionary of the Third French Republic, 1870-1940 Main DC 337 .H57 1986 v. 1-2

Has entries on literature and literary criticism and lots of se also refs at end. Also articles on personages, historical events, places, movements, organizations.

France, a Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present Main DC 35 .R64 2004

Chapter on the interwar years begins on p. 94. there is a list of statesmen on pp. 669-70. chronology on 642-43 is skimpy.

Dictionary of Twentieth Century Culture, French Culture 1900-1975 Main DC 33.7 .F726 1995

Topical table of contents at beginning allows one to see possible topics, persons, events, places, concepts. The timeline pp. xxvii-xxxi shows what happened during the interwar period. These two aspects will help in topic choice. Works are mentioned in entries for authors. Further reading references at ends of articles.

Encyclopedia of Modern French Thought Main DC 33.7 .E55 2004

Chronology, pp. xix-xx tells the prominent writers and their works of the interwar period in France. Pp. xv-xvii have a thematic list of entries. See the Historical survey, 1918-39, pp. 298-303. Individually signed entries, with bibliographies. Entries for both persons and topics/concepts.

Columbia History of Twentieth-Century French Thought Reference DC 33.7 .C575 2006

Signed entries, by specialists, with further reading references. Very brief, not very useful chronology at the beginning. “Goes beyond philosophy itself to present studies of all aspects of the French intellectual world of the 20th c.: anthropology, art and architecture, classics, cognitive science, economics, the exact sciences, film, history, the life sciences, literature, music, philosophy, religion, sociology.” Book has four parts: movements and currents, themes, intellectuals, and dissemination. In the front there is a list of the articles in each section. To write on a movement, for example, one would benefit from reading about it in this work: annales school, feminism, surrealism, etc. Good place for idea generation.

Michigan State University