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Michigan State University

Paris Between the Wars: Online Catalog

This is a guide to researching Paris between World Wars I and II, particularly from historical and literary perspectives. Last updated 06-13-2023

Online Catalog

It is possible to do a quick and dirty, one box keyword search starting at the left side 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.

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 heading and keyword (Any Field), or several lines of keywords.  You can also confine your results to particular parts of our Collections by using the Location area on lower right side of screen. 

Below the general search box on the Home Page, 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 to find your electronic book.

L.C. List of Subject Headings is a set of fat, red books in Reference 1 East, Z 696...  It contains the standardized words and phrases that our catalogers use to describe the works in our Collections.  For works about Paris use the subject heading “Paris” paying attention to the multitude of sub-headings, such as “Paris--architecture,” “Paris--American Literature,” “Paris France--history,” “Paris France--expatriate…,” “Paris France—description and travel,” “Paris France description views,” “Paris France in literature,” “Paris France—intellectual life—20th c,” “Rive gauche Paris…”

In searches for works by a person (author search) or about a person (subject search) pay attention to sub-headings: archives, correspondence, diaries, pamphlets, periodicals, personal narratives, personal observations, pictorial works, sources, if you want primary sources by or about the person. 

Keyword searches (Any Field) combining a writer or author’s name with various (French) words in the titles of the works such as letters, sound recording(s), voice(s), interviews, correspondence, diaries, photographs, works, memories, memoires, lettre(s), journals, correspondance, entrevue(s), oeuvre(s), ecrits, for example, also yield primary sources. Keyword searches such as “Paris and (pict* or illus*),” are also useful; in this case, to find works with illustrations. 

Pay attention to the title words, because the L.C. sub-headings are not always employed.

Here are some  L.C. subject headings that should prove useful:

African-Americans—France—Paris—history—20th c.
American literature—France—Paris—history and criticism
Americans—France—biography
Americans—France—history—20th c.
Americans—France—Paris
Americans—travel—France—Paris
Authors, American—homes and haunts—France—Paris
Bohemianism—France—Paris—history—20th c.
Expatriate artists—France—Paris
Literary landmarks—France—Paris
Literature publishing—France—Paris—history—20th c.
Paris (France)—intellectual life—20th c.
Paris (France)—social life and customs—20th c.
Rive gauche (Paris, France)—intellectual life