Skip to Main Content
Michigan State University

Primary Resources for French Studies: Microforms

This is a guide for finding primary sources about France/the French, including Special Collections' French Monarchy Collection. Last updated 06-26-2023

Microforms (Located on 2 West)

Microfiche with L.C. call numbers and microcards are in Hollander Make Central, 2nd floor, West wing.  Microfilm with accession numbers is in Remote Storage; search Books and Media using the accession numbers in the entries on this page to find the entry in our catalog.  Do a search by call number.  Put in the call number like this: 27960 Microfilm. In the entry there will be a place to click "Get This" to request to have the film brought out from Remote Storage to use on the readers in Hollander Make Central.  Or e-mail

Baedeker’s Handbooks for Travellers. 266 editions published before WWII. Cataloged separately. On microfiche, Hollander Make Central, 2nd floor West wing.  Check Books and Media under this title and choose country and date of publication. Useful for studying travel to certain places in the past, as well as for cultural information contained. The bibliography Baedeker’s Handbooks for Travellers, a Bibliography of English Editions Published Prior to World War II (Microcopy guides Z 6016 .T7 G73 1975 c. 2) contains a list of titles in the set.  We may also have some copies online.

Benoist d’Azy, Denys, Comte, 1796-1880. [Lettres de Denys Benoist d’Azy a Son Pere, Pierre-Vincent, Comte Benoist, 1812-1829] and [Lettres de Denys Benoist d’Azy a Sa Femme, nee Amelie Briere d’Azy, 1822-1876]. Guide in Remote Storage CD 1219.5 .B45 P36 1979, Papiers Benoist d’Azy. Films made from holdings of the French National Archives concerning a 19th c. French family.
Film # 27960 Remote Storage and #27961 Remote Storage

Berlioz, Hector. Works. 80 fiche. French composer 1803-1869.
M3 B51 1968 Microfiche  Hollander Make Central

Catholic Church. Missal (Franciscan). The Franciscan Missal. Executed in mid 14th c. France, an immense storehouse of Biblical iconography, remarkable for its number and range of illuminations. Guide in Remote Storage ND 3375 .F7.
ND 3375 .F7 Microfiche  Remote Storage

Condition of the 19th Century French Working Class. 1,215 fiche. The collection contains documentation on various economic and social aspects of 19th century working class life in France, including government reports and private works by physicians, economists, statesmen, and men of letters. Enquetes sur la Condition Ouvriere du XIX Siecle, by Michelle Perrot (Remote Storage Z 7165 .F8 P43) includes a subject index to the fiche collection and a descriptive text.
Center for Research Libraries owns, probably not M.S.U.  Request ILL.

Les Enquetes des Prefets de l’Empire. 435 fiche. Reproduces 30,000 pages from the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris on the statistical sources on the history of France as found in the records of the Departments, 1801-1812. Bertrand Gille’s Les Sources Statistiques de l’Histoire de France, des Enquetes du XVII Siecle a 1870 (Main Z 2176 .G5) discusses this material.
DC 26 .E5 no. Microfiche  Hollander Make Central

Fin de Siecle, Symbolist, and Avant-Garde Periodicals. 74 reels. Documents the people and movements of the late 19th century French literary and artistic scene. Compiled from the bibliography in Kenneth Cornell’s The Symbolist Movement (Main PQ 439 .C65 1970 , pp. 201-206. Our online catalog shows 8 titles. We have more than this. Here is a list of what I saw on the shelf 8-31-01. Not all the rolls were on the shelf, so this list is probably incomplete. The bibliography describes the contents of each title briefly. Each title is cataloged separately in the online catalog.  Location of  films is Remote Storage:

Le Chat Noir, film # 12798, 1882-1895
Chimere, Revue Independante et d’Insolence Litteraire, #12799, 1891-93
La Conque, #12799, 1891-92
Le Coq Rouge, Revue Litteraire, #12799, 1895-97
Les Ecrits pour l’Art, #12799, 1905-6
Les Entretiens Politiques et Litteraires, #12800, 1890-1893
L’Hermitage, #12801, 1890-1906
Les Ibis, #12802, 1894
La Jeune Belgique, #12803, 1881-97
La Jeune France, #12804, 1882-1884
La Jeune Revue Litteraire, #12803, 1880
La Pleiade (Paris), #12805, 1886
La Pleiade (Brussels), #12805, 1889-90
Le Reveil, #12806, 1891-96
La Parnasse Contemporain, Recueil de Vers Nouveau, #12805, 1866-76
Revue d’Aujourd’hui, #12807, 1890
La Revue Independante, #12808, 1884-85
Le Scapin, #12809, 1885-86
La Societe Nouvelle. Sociologie, Arts, Sciences, Lettres, #12810, 1895?-1914
Les Taches d’Encre, #12811, 1884-1885
La Vogue,#12812, 1886; 1889; 1899-1901

French Books Before 1601. 493 reels plus. Includes most of the titles listed in the British Museum’s Short-title Catalogue of Books Printed in France and of French Books Printed in Other Countries from 1470-1600 (Now) in the British Museum (Main Z 2162 .B86) and Supplement (Main Z 2162 .B86 Suppl 1986). There is a guide to this set in Consulting Reference at Z 2162 .F7 1965 called French Books Before 1601: 35 mm Microfilm Edition: Short Title List. A portion of the titles may be found in the online catalog although the set is all together at:
film set #4265 Remote Storage

French Books 1601-1700. Copies of a Selection of 17th century books. Basic selection made was made from V. F. Goldsmith’s Short-title Catalogue of French Books 1601-1700 in the Library of the British Museum, (Main Z 2162 .B7) but not confined to it.
Center for Research Libraries owns, not M.S.U. Request ILL.

French Drama. Copies of a selection of French drama ranging from the 17th to the 20th centuries.
On microcards. A Bibliography of French Plays on Microcards by Lawrence S. Thompson (Remote Storage Z 2174 .D7 T48) is a guide to the set.
Titles are separately cataloged.  In Hollander Make Central

French Political Pamphlets, 1547-1648 [a Collection on Microfilm]. 86 reels.  Over 7,000 pamphlets based on the bibliography French Political Pamphlets, 1547-1648, by Robert O. Lindsay and John Neu (Consulting Reference Z 2177.5 .L54) and Supplement: Listing the Microform Additions to the Original Edition (Consulting Reference Z 2177.5 .L54 Suppl).
film set # 17014  Remote Storage

French Revolution: Critical and Historical Literature. A selection of available source material made from various bibliographies.
Center for Research Libraries, not M.S.U. Request ILL.

French Revolutionary Pamphlets. More than 8,000 fiche.  Compiled from Horace E. Hayden’s French Revolutionary Pamphlets, a Check List of the Talleyrand and Other Collections at the New York Public Library (Consulting Reference Z 2179 .N47 c.2) and Ambrose Sarick’s Bibliography of the Frank E. Melvin Collection of Pamphlets of the French Revolution in the University of Kansas Libraries (Consulting Reference Z 2179 .S3). See also French Revolutionary Pamphlets (Consulting Reference DC 141 .F7 1985).
Microcards DC 141 .F7  Hollander Make Central

French Royal and Administrative Acts, 1256-1794. 59 reels. A microfilm collection of 16,000 pamphlets from the New York Public Library. Common subjects include fiscal matters, taxation and tariffs, toll collections, criminal justice, military administration, book printing, guilds, and persons of note. Marcel Lipkowitz is the author of French Royal and Administrative Acts, 1256-1794, a Subject Guide to the New York Public Library Collection of 16,000 Pamphlets Now on Microfilm (Consulting Reference KMO .L5635 1978 c. 2), the guide to this set.
Microfilm #14899  Remote Storage

French Socialist Congresses. 210 fiche. A microfiche edition of 70 titles, all the documents of the socialist congresses. An article in Journal of Modern History, v. 31#2, 1959, by Jack Alden Clarke “French Socialist Congresses, 1876-1911" discusses this material (article is available via JSTOR. Center for Research Libraries owns, not M.S.U.  Request ILL.

History of Ideas in Europe. 5,000 microcards. Copies of a collection of books selected from the collections of the Union Theological Seminary on the religious and ideological struggles of the Reformation. Most titles in Latin. 178 entries in Books and Media  under this title. To see the titles do an Advanced search.  Put the title of the set in quotation marks.  Use the filter for Format and choose microfilm.  The microcards are arranged by main entry (usually author) and have author and title information typed on the jackets in which each title is filed.
Microcard D5 Hollander Make Central

Holbach and His Friends, Anticlerical Thought: 1760-1789. 69 fiche. This set contains French materialist and anticlerical works espousing the doctrines of Holbach, all published during the 30 years immediately preceding the French Revolution. Baron Paul Henri Thiry d’Holbach, 1723-1789, was a French philosopher, a leading atheist and materialist who wrote 376 articles for Diderot’s’s Encyclopedie, as well as books on these topics. Search the set's title in quotation marks in an Advanced Search, limiting to Microfilm.  Each title in this set is separately cataloged. A search on the title of the set shows 37 titles.  Location is Hollander Make Central.

Vatican Film Library. The Vatican Film Library at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri, contains microfilms of rare and out of print early books initially from the Vatican Library in Rome. The first 80 lists, including those below are of materials from there. Later materials in the collection were filmed from materials at Les Fontaines, Chatilly, France. The Vatican Film Library’s Guide to Microfilms of Vatican Film Library Manuscript Codices Available for Study in the Vatican Film Library at St. Louis University (Remote Storage Z 1033 .M5 V3852 1993) and Elizabeth J. Cress’ Guide to Rare and Out of Print Books in the Vatican Film Library, (Remote Storage Z 1033 .M5 C73 1986) describe this collection and its contents. We have microfilms of some parts of their collections:

History of European Literature, film #6267 Remote Storage
History of Music, Costume, and Printing, #6346 Remote Storage
Money, Commerce and Commercial Law, #5090 Remote Storage

Maclure Collection of French Revolutionary Materials. A Collection spanning the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras. It contains over 25,000 items, including cahiers de doleance, privately printed tracts, newspapers, legislative proceedings, speeches, almanacs, administrative laws and decrees, etc. A book, The Maclure Collection of French Revolutionary Materials, edited by Hardy, Jensen and Wolfe, describes the collection (Oversize books  3 West Z 2178 .P4).
Center for Research Libraries; not owned by MSU Libraries.  Request ILL.

Mazarinades. 2,991 fiche. A collection of 3,398 17th-century French Civil War tracts from the Houghton Library, Harvard University. Mazarinades, a Catalogue of the Collection of 17th-Century French Civil War Tracts in the Houghton Library, Harvard University, edited by James E. Walsh describes this collection (Consulting Reference  Z 2181 .M47 H33 1976 c. 2). From this source “So, when during the years 1649-1652 in France, a periodic generally referred to as the Fronde, a struggle between the government and the Parlements erupted over the gradual usurpation of power by the monarchy, the course of that struggle was vividly reflected in a large number of contemporary pamphlets, known as Mazarinades, after Jules Mazarin, chief minister....”
Microfiche DC 130 .M43  Hollander Make Central

Le Monde. The major French newspaper, published daily in Paris. Online we have 1944-2000 and various more current access.  We have on microfilm 1956, and 1965-1980. film #1600 Remote Storage

Le Monde Diplomatique. French periodical devoted to international relations and diplomacy. Issues from 2006-.  Back issues since June, 1997 in Remote Storage Oversize at JX 3 .M65.  English language edition, 1998-.

Nicolas de Bonneville et le Cercle Social, 1878-1800. 201 fiche. A collection of 47 titles, including newspapers and periodicals, works by Nicolas de Bonneville, Fauchet, Condorcet, Marechal, Saint-Martin, and Thomas Paine, all pro French Revolutionaries. Nine journals were published by le Cercle Social, nine titles are by Nicolas de Bonneville, and there are 30 related titles. The Cercle Social, 1790-93, was a club and publishing company begun by a small group of Parisian intellectuals and municipal leaders in early 1790. Its purpose was to reinterpret Enlightenment thought in the wake of the Revolution. Abbe Fauchet led the weekly meetings analyzing Rousseau’s Social Contract. He founded Bouche de Fer , which is one of the titles in this set. Condorcet, an academic, philosophe, and mathematician, was the principal spokesman for organized science in France at the time of the Revolution. Marechal was a writer and journalist, a leader in Babeuf’s Conspiracy of Equals. They the Cercle Social members developed radical notions about the rights of women and the poor and supported the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. It was involved in the burgeoning democratic movement and was instrumental in organizing the republican campaign after the King’s flight to Varennes. The club was suppressed after the “massacre” at the Champ de Mars, but the publishing company aspect expanded its activities. They published over 180 pamphlets and journals from 1790-93. R.B. Rose, “Socialism and the French Revolution: the Cercle Social and the Enrages.” Bulletin of the John Rylands Library. 41 (1958-1959), is an article that discusses the Cercle Social.
Checking under the names of the persons mentioned here as authors in Books and Media will gain access to some of the materials in the set.
Titles are separately cataloged. Hollander Make Central

Rameau, Jean Philippe. Oeuvres Completes. 7 reels. French composer who lived from 1683-1754. There is a guide to the set in Microcopy guides at M3 .R25 B7 1968.
Microfiche M 3 .R25 B7 1968  Hollander Make Central