French and Francophone Studies

Book cover of Maryse Conde's Traversée de la Mangrove (1992).

Research Guide

Welcome! This page highlights key resources for conducting effective  research in French and Francophone Studies.

If you need assistance identifying additional resources, search terms or strategies, please schedule a research consultation.

Personal Librarian:
Vani Natarajan
Milstein 311


  • Le Grand Robert includes the digitized text of all six volumes of Le Grand Robert's most current edition. This text features extensive entries on words and phrases featuring etymology, citations, examples of usage, citations, synonyms, and antonyms.
  • Oxford Language Dictionaries Online: French provides a fully searchable bilingual French-English and English-French dictionary online, with supplementary resources in French language history, culture, and colloquialisms.
  • Encyclopaedia Universalis, a renowned French-language encyclopedia, features generous text entries and images on a wide range of topics, film clips, and an interactive world atlas, among other learning tools.


Finding Articles

If you aren't sure where to start searching , you might try the CLIO Find Articles search. It searches across multiple databases at once, but it also allows you to refine results by subject terms and format type. For a more focused and refined search, try a database---the ones listed below are especially recommended for French and Francophone Studies research.

  • FRANCIS provides citations to journal articles in the humanities from around the world, with a strong collection of  French titles.
  • MLA International Bibliography features scholarly articles on literature, language, linguistics, and folklore from around the world. Sources include periodicals, books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations and bibliographies. Coverage spans 1923 to the present.
  • Persee provides full-text online versions of back issues of selected French journals in the humanities and social sciences.


Primary Sources

To search for archival collections and published primary sources physically located in the Columbia Libraries, including Barnard, try a CLIO catalog search. You can use the facet boxes on the results page to limit by date of creation/publication, format, genre, and more.

The databases and digital repositories listed below can also connect you to primary source materials.

  • Alexander Street Literature consists of full-text collections covering literatures of place, race, and gender. It includes poetry, short fiction, and novels, along with full-text plays and film scripts.
  • ARTFL, or American Research on the Treasury of the French Language, features the full text of classical French literary works, political tracts, philosophical writings, and technical treatises.
  • Gallica: La Bibliotheque Numerique features electronic texts, images, maps, animation, and sound files of French and other publications in history, literature, science, philosophy, law, economics, and political science, maintained by the Bibliotheque Nationale de France.


Literary Sources in Full Text

  • Black Short Fiction and Folklore includes full-text stories, folktales, and short fiction by African, African American, and Caribbean authors.
  • Black Women Writers includes full-text fiction, nonfiction and poetry by women from North America, Africa and the Caribbean. It also features a growing selection of essays by scholars and feminists about the history of feminism and genre studies in these regions.
  • Caribbean Literature collects full-text poetry and fiction produced in the Caribbean in the 19th and 20th centuries. Many works are in French, alongside texts in Creole languages, English, Spanish, and Dutch.


Finding Books and Media

CLIO provides access to the vast resources of the Columbia University Libraries, including Barnard Library, but excluding Teachers College and the Law Library. Search the Catalog for book and media materials.

Browse the stacks using the call numbers for French Language and French and Francophone Literatures.

French Language: PC2001-3761

French and Francophone Literature: PQ1-3999

The NYPL catalog searches the circulating and non-circulating research collections at the New York Public Library.

Worldcat searches libraries worldwide. If a title isn't available via Columbia University Libraries, you may request it via Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan.