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Michigan State University

French Opera: Using the Online Catalog

Basic resources for researching French opera from a literary and historical perspective.

Using the Online Catalog

Bookmark the MSU Libraries' website on your computer:

It is possible to do a quick and dirty, one box keyword search of the contents of the MSU Libraries' web site, starting at the top left of the Libraries' home page.  The results will be sorted into several categories to follow up on:  articles from journals, books/media from our online catalog, databases, library research guides like this one, other. To do a more traditional search, read on.

Search our Books and Media (online catalog) by particular author (last name first),  specific title desired, by keywords expected to be found in titles, or by subject headings.  

In title searches, leave out the initial articles (A, An, The); do include them if they occur farther on in the title. Examples of title searches:  French Baroque Opera a Reader.  French History (periodical title)

Keyword searches are composed of words or phrases or boolean logic strings you think up, out of your own head.  If you find some good books via a keyword search, notice, near the bottom of the catalog record, what subject headings are used; try clicking on those subject headings to obtain more good books on your topic.  Examples:  French opera.  (France or French) and baroque.  

Subject headings are the controlled vocabulary language words and phrases assigned by catalogers when cataloging resources for the Libraries. Subject heading searches usually produce better quality, more on target search results, than keyword searches.  For books by an author, use the author search.  For books about an author, use a subject heading search (last name, first name). Examples of potentially useful L.C. subject headings for subject searches (use the advanced search for these):

Baroque literature

Charpentier, Marc-Antoine, 1643-1704 [works about him and his works]

Costume [country name]

Costume history [time period]

Costume design

France history [time period]

France monarchy history [time period]

France politics and government [time period]

French literature [time period]

French literature bibliography

French literature translations into English

Louis XIV, King of France, 1638-1715 [or name of other monarch]

Luly, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687[works about him and his works]

Massenet, Jules, 1842-1912 [works about him and his works]

Monarchy France history [time period]

Motion pictures and opera

Music halls

Musical theater [country name]

Musical theater producers and directors

Opera [general works about this form]

Opera [country name]

Opera [time period]

Opera dictionaries

Opera dramaturgy [works on technique of writing opera]

Opera encyclopedias

Opera France [time period]

Opera production and direction

Opera comique

Opera in motion pictures

Operas [time period] [this is the heading for the musical compositions, the scores or recordings]

Operas bibliography

Operas discography

Operas film adaptations

Operas librettos

Operas literary themes, motives

Operas stage guides

Operas stories, plots, etc.

Rameau, Jean Phillipe, 1683-1778 [works about him and his works]

Rousseau, Jean Jacques, 1712-1778 [works about him and his works]

[Subject heading] sources [indicates the item will contain one or more primary sources]

Theaters [country name]

Women in opera

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