FREN 720: Introduction to Graduate Studies in French: Books/E-Books

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


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 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

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]

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You may search across these sources all at once, or limit your search to specific formats, such as books or articles.


Library Catalog

You can also search the traditional library catalog for books, journals (but not articles), and other items.

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

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

Le Clézio, J.-M. G. (Jean-Marie Gustave), 1940-

Le Clézio, J.-M. G. (Jean-Marie Gustave), 1940- --Political and social views


Intellectual Life-18th century


Social Justice in Literature

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 enter your search terms, and run the search.

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

E-book Collections

Information on Finding and Using E-books

E-books allow you to access and read books online from your computer or mobile device. In many cases multiple readers can access the same e-book simultaneously.  E-books also allow you to quickly search, download, print, or link to specific book and chapter content.   

E-books are available in many resources. This guide helps staff and patrons to identify library databses and collections that contain e-books, how to search for them through the library catalog, and how to use them in their coursework and teaching.    In this guide you will find information about:

Request articles, books & more - Interlibrary Loan

Connecting Search Terms

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