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Michigan State University

French Opera: History and Literature

Basic resources for researching French opera from a literary and historical perspective. Last updated 06-07-2023

History and Literature

Find electronic resources for French history and literature this way:  from the Libraries’ home page, place your mouse on Contact near top right.  A list comes up; choose subject librarians.  Scroll down to History and find British/Irish, French, medieval/Renaissance and Agnes Widder’s name in the middle column.  Click on her name; this takes you to her home page.  Once there, click on France.  From the list of guides offered, the most useful ones for finding resources in our Library for your class are France: Getting Started, France: History and Literature, and Renaissance or Early Modern Culture.  These guides describe reference works and periodical indexes. 

Finding scholarly periodical articles is a multi-step process.  The first step is choosing the index.  Second, do your search using keywords or subject terms. Third, find the articles you've identified in the particular journals in the Library.  Sometimes it is possible to click right through to the online versions of articles themselves right from the index used.  When this is not possible, write down or print out the citations from the index. Then look up the titles of the periodicals in E Books and Journals (to access the link to the full text) or Books and Media (for paper/cloth bound copies to find the call numbers if our holdings are in paper form).  Use the information from your citation to find the article in the bound volumes on the shelf or in the web site of the journal itself, if it is available online.

If we do not own the journal you need visit our Interlibrary Services page to obtain a copy or your article through interlibrary loan.

Here are the two most used indexes for scholarly periodicals about France in the literature/language and history fields:

Free Access to Pascal (Science) and Francis (Humanities and Social Sciences)

Do simple and advanced searches, classification searches (subject scheme),  on this now freely available database from the French Scientific Information Dept. of Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS).  Francis is the database for social sciences and humanities materials.  Indexes materials in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish from journals, conference proceedings, dissertations.  Covers materials indexed in Francis from 1972-2015, 2 million items.  Do your search.  Then look up the journal name, conference, dissertation in our online catalog for access.  If we don't have it, request ILL.

Notice that both the subject librarians’ page and Agnes Widder’s own page provide e mail contact information.  You can make appointments with librarians to get help with research.