FREN 720: Introduction to Graduate Studies in French: Books

An introduction to library and other research resources for graduate students in French literature.


Search for an item in libraries near you: >>

 WorldCat is the world's largest library catalog, designed to help users find items in libraries close to them. It contains bibliographic records coming from tens of thousands of academic, public, and special libraries in the US and worldwide. 

Library of Congress Classification

The Library of Congress (LC) classification for French Literature is PQ1-3999.

Important External Catalogs for French Books

Searching other institutions' catalogs for books

Search KU Libraries

Quick Search 

What am I searching?

Search across many different resources, including:

  • Everything from the KU Libraries Catalog: more than 5 million books, ebooks, videos, sound recordings, manuscripts, and more Full-text articles from more than 120,000 journals
  • A growing collection of more than 280,000 images from KU Libraries' digital collections, Spencer Museum of Art, and beyond
  • More than 22,000 articles and Open Access research from KU ScholarWorks, KU's institutional repository

You may search across these sources all at once, or limit your search to those items most interesting to you.


Library Catalog

Search the traditional library catalog.

Tips for Searching

Boolean Operators let you combine or exclude keywords in a search, resulting in more focused and productive results.  They connect your search terms together to either narrow or broaden your set of results.

Using AND will narrow your results and tell the database that ALL search terms must be present in the results.

Using OR in a search will connect two or more similar concepts (synonyms), will broaden your results, telling the database that ANY of your search terms can be present in the results.

Using NOT ins a search will exclude words from your search and narrow your search, telling the database to ignore concepts that may be implied by your search terms.

Truncation and Wildcards. Truncation allows you to retrieve multiple forms of a word by entering the stem (or root) of a word into the search box and adding the database’s truncation symbol. To find writewriterwritten, or writing, enter the letters common to all forms, writ, and add the truncation symbol (e.g., writ*). Frequently the truncation symbol is an asterisk (*), though it might be a different character depending on the database you are searching. A database usually has a Help ? page explaining its symbols.

Wildcards similar to truncation, wildcards substitute a symbol for one letter of a word. For example, if the wildcard symbol is a question mark (?), typing wom?n will return results containing the words woman or women. You can also use a wildcard to pick up variations in spelling: reali?e will find both realize (American spelling) and realise (British spelling).

Phrase Searching. When you want to ensure that words remain together in a particular order, use phrase searching by placing the search terms in quotation marks.  For example, “Fleurs du mal” will find results where those three words appear as a phrase.

Finding Books by Subject Heading in the Library Catalog

In addition to searching by keywords, you can also find books on a topic by using the "Subject Heading" search.  Examples are:

French Literature-History and Criticism

French Literature-19th century

French Literature-17th century-History and Criticism

Francophone Literature

Baudelaire, Charles, 1821-1867-Criticism and interpretation

Intellectual Life-18th century


FlaubertGustave1821-1880 -- Criticism and interpretation

Finding Book Reviews

Academic Search Complete is a general database covering all fields, including many popular magazines. To find books reviews in it, follow these instructions: when you connect, you will be in the default Basic Search. Switch to Advanced Search. In the lower left, there is a section called "Limit your results". Look in the "Document Type" field for "Book Review" and highlight it. Then go ahead and enter your search terms, then run the search.

You can also search in the New York Times Book Review or MLA International Bibliography 

National Union Catalog (NUC)

The National Union Catalog (NUC) is a record of publications held in more than eleven hundred libraries in the United States and Canada, including the Library of Congress. It is sometimes referred to as the "Mansell" (after the publisher).

Major portions of the NUC are published in two principal series: one covering post-1955 publications and the other pre-1956 imprints. Since 1983, the NUC has been issued on microfiche. The NUC, an author catalog, contains some entries for works in the Library's collections that are not listed in its own general catalogs; consequently, it should be consulted in any thorough examination of a Library's resources.

The NUC is located on the 4th floor (north side) of Watson Library.

In celebration, the National union catalog, pre-1956 imprints / edited by John Y. Cole.  [HathiTrust]

Request articles, books & more - Interlibrary Loan

Video on Boolean Searching

Image result for images for hathitrust   

 HathiTrust is a partnership of academic & research institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.

Research Help

We can help with your research questions -- contact us by chat, phone, email, text or at a Research Help desk.