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Michigan State University

Primary Resources for French Studies: Online Catalog

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

Online Catalog

You can do a quick and dirty keyword search using the general search box at left side of the Libraries' home page.   The results will be sorted into categories to follow up on, such as articles, books and media, databases, or guides like this one.  To do a more traditional search of our online catalog, read on.

Below the general search box, click on Books and Media to search for physical, paper/cloth bound books, paper/cloth bound journals, physical media, such as DVDs or microforms, or individually cataloged electronic items.

In Books and Media, click on the down arrow on the right side of the form where it says "Catalog."  Choose the type of search you want to do.  In the box to the right put in your search terms.  Enter author's name either last name, first name or first name last name.  Omit initial articles in book titles; include them as they occur within the book title itself.  To search by L.C. subject heading, it may be better to use the Browse Alphabetically Browse by Subject lower down in the list than Catalog: Subject, because those results will show the surrounding subject headings and number of hits retrieved.  After you receive your results, notice that you can filter them in various ways, by using the facets along the left side of the page.  

Advanced search allows for combination of more than one search aspect, such as author and title, subject headings and keywords (Any Field), or several rows of keywords.  You can also confine your results to particular parts of the Libraries' collections, using the Location area on lower right.

Below the general search box, click on E Books and Journals to search for journals in electronic form or individual electronic books that will have been received by the Library in a package.  You may need to check both Books and Media and E Books and Journals in order to find your electronic book.

L.C. List of Subject Headings is a set of fat, red books in Reference 1 East at Z 696...that contains the standardized words and phrases our catalogers use to describe the works in our collections.  Attaching Library of Congress sub-headings in your L.C. subject searches, words such as sources, archival resources, correspondence, pamphlets, periodicals, personal narratives, or documents, will pull up primary source material. Sometimes this will also be helpful in keyword (Any Field) searches.   Periodicals written at the time of an event may include observations or comments on current affairs, for example. People’s letters are primary sources, as are government produced materials. Some examples:

Manet, Edouard 1832-1883--correspondence