Golden Age of Versailles

Kneehole writing table in red tortoiseshell. Lacquer steel top. Boulle. Gilt fauteuils, upholstered in tapestry. In Louis XIV, chambre a coucher, Versailles (still image, 1910-1911). via  New York Public Library Digital Collections.

Research Guide

Welcome! This page highlights key resources for conducting effective research for Golden Age of Versailles.

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

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Vani Natarajan
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Finding Books and Media Materials

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.

  • Known item searches: If you have a specific source in mind, use the dropdown menu to search by Title, Author, ISBN, etc. 
  • Unknown If you're searching around a topic, select Keyword from the drop-down menu and enter some search terms. tips: Use quotes to search words together "as a phrase." Use the * to truncate or stem search related words (for example, aristo* searches for aristocrat, aristocrats, aristocracy, aristocratie, etc.)

The NYPL catalog searches the circulating and non-circulating research collections at the New York Public Library. The Archives and Manuscripts search page allows for exploration of special collections, which include many collections of literary correspondence.

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


Reference Sources

Collins French Dictionary covers grammar and key vocabulary, from English to French and French to English.

Dictionnaires d'Autrefois collects, in online format, French dictionaries of the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. You can search terms in individual dictionaries, or across multiple ones.

Encyclopædia universalis presents scholarly reference articles, in French, on a wide variety of topics covering many areas of knowledge. Browseable as well as searchable, it also includes an atlas, dictionary, and médiathèque (containing visual and sound sources).

Grand Corpus des Dictionnaires allows researchers to search the most important dictionaries of the French language from the 9th through the 20th centuries, representing over 900,000 entries and their definitions.

Le grand Robert de la langue française presents online one of the largest dictionaries of the French language, featuring hundreds of thousands of words and expressions; extensive definitions; citations with word usage; etymology; derivative words; and synonyms and antonyms.

Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism includes almost 300 entries and subentries on critics and theorists, critical schools and movements, and literary criticism and theory in specific regions of the world across history. Articles may be browsed or searched in full text. Each article features a bibliography of works cited, organized into two sections: “Primary Sources” and “Secondary Sources.”

OED Online presents, in digital form, the complete contents of the Oxford English Dictionary and the Oxford Historical Thesaurus. Can be especially useful for exploring French words and phrases that have migrated to, or influenced, English. Entries include cited historical exmaples of usage, and the thesaurus can be especially helpful for exploring different words used for a particular concept or meaning over time.

Oxford Language Dictionaries Online provides a fully searchable bilingual French-English and English-French dictionary online, with supplementary resources in French language history, culture, and colloquialisms.

Oxford Reference Online offers full text of 100 searchable reference tools, including subject dictionaries and mythology dictionaries.


Secondary Sources for History and Analysis

Arcade: NYARC Arcade unites the collections of the Frick Art Reference Library and the libraries of the Brooklyn Museum and The Museum of Modern Art. It provides access to research collections spanning the spectrum of art history, from ancient Egypt to contemporary art.

CAIRN provides searchable full-text access to journals, magazines, books, reference sources, and reports in the humanities and social sciences---all sources in French.

EBSCOHost serves as a platform to several databases in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Examples:

Érudit provides access to Francophone and Canadian peer-reviewed journal articles, books, thesis papers, and other scholarly documents from North America.

FRANCIS provides citations to journal articles in the humanities and social sciences.

Getty Research Portal: This free online search platform provides global access to digitized art history texts in the public domain. Through this multilingual, multicultural union catalog, scholars can search and download complete digital copies of publications for the study of art, architecture, material culture, and related fields.

Periodicals Archive Online archives journals in the humanities and social sciences from around the world, in full text. The collection includes journals in French.

Persee covers back issues of selected French journals and conference proceedings in the humanities and social sciences. Articles are searchable and available in full text.

Project MUSE provides full text scholarly journal articles, with citations and abstracts, from key sources in the humanities, with a special strength in literary studies. Content is updated daily, and coverage is extremely current. Users may browse journals by title and discipline, and may also search articles by their assigned Library of Congress Subject Headings.

Proquest combines 77 unique databases in one platform. You can search all at once, or select the databases you'd like to search. Some examples:

  • Arts and Humanities Full Text features citations and abstracts from scholarly sources in the humanities, as well as lesser known specialized magazines. Many of the entries are available in full text. Documents covered include articles, interviews, obituaries, bibliographies, original works of fiction, drama and poetry, book reviews, and reviews of performances, recordings, and films.
  • MLA International Bibliography features citations and abstracts to scholarly articles on literature, language, linguistics, and folklore from around the world, with e-links to possible full text provided. Sources include periodicals, books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations and bibliographies. Coverage spans 1923 to the present.


Primary Sources

Search these databases and digital repositories for access to literary texts, historical news articles, images, and other items that you might incorporate into your research as primary source material.

ARTFL, American Research on the Treasury of the French Language, presents digitized full text of classical French writings, among them philosophical treatises, poetry, journals, medieval manuscripts, writings by women, and dictionaries.

ARTSTOR Provides more than one million digital images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences with a suite of tools for  research.

Centre de Recherche du Chateau de Versailles: Portail de Ressources gathers several collections, some of them fully searchable and digitized, of images and text related to the history of Versailles, primarily from the 17th to 18th centuries. (note: some of these resources are password protected).

Electronic Enlightenment offers searchable and browseable access to access to the web of correspondence between Enlightenment era thinkers and writers and their families and friends, bankers and booksellers, patrons and publishers. Coverage includes letters and documents, document sources such as manuscripts and early printed editions, scholarly annotations, and links to biographies, dictionaries, encyclopedias, newspapers, and other online resources.

Europeana presents a searchable collection of image, text, sound, and video from libraries, museum, archives, and special collections in Europe.

Gallica: La Bibliotheque Numerique features electronic texts, images, maps, animation, and sound files of French, Francophone, and other publications in history, literature, science, philosophy, law, economics, and political science, maintained by the Bibliotheque Nationale de France.

Google Art Project: An online platform through which the public can access high-resolution images of artworks housed in the initiative’s partner  museums - more than 32,000 artworks from 46 collections - including the Tate Gallery, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Uffizi, Florence.

HathiTrust is a large repository of digitized texts from research libraries and digitization initiatives such as the Google Books project and the Internet Archive. Many of these texts are in the public domain and fully viewable.

Joconde is a national database of french museums covering archaeology, fine art, arts and craft, ethnology, history, science and technology.  

New York Public Library Digital Collections provides searchable and browseable access to over 800,000 items digitized from the New York Public Library's vast and varied collections. These sources include prints, photographs, maps, music, streaming video, and more.

Réseau francophone numérique brings together digitized books, newspapers, journals, archives, maps and audiovisual documents from the Francophone world, with coverage of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, North Africa, and North America.


Writing and Citing

OWL: Purdue University Online Writing Lab provides general and subject specific writing tips and techniques, along with research advice and detailed citation and formatting standards for the APA, MLA, and Chicago styles.

Zotero is a free tool for managing citations, organizing research, storing documents,sharing your references with others, and creating fomatted bibliographies, footnotes, and in-text citations. For detailed tips on installing and using Zotero, consult the library's Zotero guide.

Meredith's Guide to Copyright for Digital Humanities Projects 


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