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Syracuse University Libraries

French Language and Literature: FRE 412

This guide outlines key resources and strategies for searching French language and literature at the Syracuse University Libraries

The Basics

Research Strategies

Familiarize yourself with your topic.  Be sure you are able to answer the following questions before beginning your research:
  • Who?
  • What?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • Why?
  • How?

Gather background information about your topic using reference sources.

  • Reference books provide important information on a topic, include specific details, and point to other useful sources of information. They direct you to the core literature of a topic as contained in books, journals, reports, and many other types of publications.
  • They can also summarize, digest, or review the literature on a topic in ways that save you time and energy.
  • Knowing the reference sources in your discipline can increase the efficiency of your searches by enabling you to better focus your questions.

Be sure to evaluate the kinds of sources you are using.  Review your print sources and pay special attention to Internet sources.

Read the source carefully.  Note organizational differences between tools. Not all works are comprehensive in scope.

Be creative. Try alternative and related headings to locate the information you need. If your initial search is so broad that you have too many sources, then narrow your search. If your search brings back too few sources, then broaden the search, using more general terms.

Suggested Databases by Topic- Fairy Tales

Humanities Index

Index and abstracts to humanities journals and weekly magazines published in the United Kingdom (UK) and English speaking countries, as well as newspapers published in the UK.

Humanities International Index

Index to journals, books and other sources in the humanities, produced by Whitson Publishing.

JSTOR

Full-text archive of scholarly publications, including ebooks, in mathematics, science, the arts and humanities, and the social sciences.

MLA International Bibliography (EBSCO)

Modern Language Association bibliography of publications related to language, literature, folklore, and linguistics.

Periodicals Archive Online

Archive of journals published in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Suggested Databases by Topic- "Exotic" Women

Art & Architecture Source

Journals, books, and images covering fine arts, decorative and commercial art, architecture and architectural design.

ARTstor

Art, architecture, and archaeology images including images from the Smithsonian, the MoMA collection for architecture and design and the Schlesinger photograph collection on the history of women in America.

Humanities Index

Index and abstracts to humanities journals and weekly magazines published in the United Kingdom (UK) and English speaking countries, as well as newspapers published in the UK.

Humanities International Index

Index to journals, books and other sources in the humanities, produced by Whitson Publishing.

MLA International Bibliography (EBSCO)

Modern Language Association bibliography of publications related to language, literature, folklore, and linguistics.

Project Muse This link opens in a new window

Journals in the humanities, social sciences, and mathematics, published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

Recommended Databases

Reference Tools / Background Information

Overviews of Humanities Topics

Overviews of Social Science Topics

Literature Database(s)

  • MLA International
  • The MLA International Bibliography is a subject index for books, articles and websites published on modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics. It is produced by the Modern Language Association (MLA), an organization dedicated to the study and teaching of language and literature. The electronic version of the Bibliography dates back to 1925 and contains over 2 million citations from more than 4,400 periodicals (including peer-reviewed e-journals) and 1,000 book publishers. It is compiled by the staff of the MLA Department of Bibliographic Information Services with the cooperation of more than 100 contributing bibliographers in the United States and abroad. Such international coverage is represented by literature from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America, and while the majority of records are from English-language publications, at least sixty other languages are represented including French, Spanish, German, Russian, Portuguese, Norwegian, and Swedish.

Language Database(s)

Cultural (Art, Architecture, Music)

Image Databases

Audio Databases

Streaming Videos

Suggested Databases by Topic- French (Literary) Salons

Bloomsbury Cultural History

Books and images for the study of culture throughout the ages, including animals, food, work, fashion, the human body, media, and more. Includes the Bloomsbury Cultural History series and other scholarly history titles.

Humanities Index

Index and abstracts to humanities journals and weekly magazines published in the United Kingdom (UK) and English speaking countries, as well as newspapers published in the UK.

Humanities International Index

Index to journals, books and other sources in the humanities, produced by Whitson Publishing.

JSTOR This link opens in a new window

Full-text archive of scholarly publications, including ebooks, in mathematics, science, the arts and humanities, and the social sciences.

MLA International Bibliography (EBSCO)

Modern Language Association bibliography of publications related to language, literature, folklore, and linguistics.

Project Muse This link opens in a new window

Journals in the humanities, social sciences, and mathematics, published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

Suggested Databases by Topic- Women Artists

Art & Architecture ePortal

Art and architecture works with images from several presses and galleries, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Princeton University press, MIT Press, Yale Center for British Art, Yale University Press, and more.

Art & Architecture Source

Journals, books, and images covering fine arts, decorative and commercial art, architecture and architectural design.

ARTstor

Art, architecture, and archaeology images including images from the Smithsonian, the MoMA collection for architecture and design and the Schlesinger photograph collection on the history of women in America.

GroveArt Online

Alternative Name(s) & Keywords: Oxford Art Online

14 simultaneous users only.
The Dictionary of Art, edited by Jane Turner (1996, 34 vols) covering both Western and non-Western art, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, edited by Hugh Brigstocke (2001), The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms, and the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics (2nd edition).

Services

Consultation:

Please call or email Barbara Opar (443-3518/2905 or baopar@syr.edu) if you are having trouble finding the right information for an assignment.  You can also schedule an appointment if you need help using electronic resources or for more in-depth assistance with a research project.

InterLibrary Loan:

While the Syracuse Library has extensive holdings in the area of French language and literature, certain kinds of resources may be limited or unavailable. ILL is a service available to help students and faculty obtain books on loan from other academic libraries. Periodical articles are provided free of charge in digital form. Click here for more information.

Storage Requests:

Syracuse University Libraries store certain older or lesser used materials off-site. The forms for delivery are available on the Libraries' home page. As well, when you click on an item stored off site you will be triggered to place a request for delivery. Deliveries take place only Monday through Friday. Bound periodicals are now located at the Facility.  For further details, see Delivery Service.

Searching print and electronic resources

Begin your research using the Syracuse University Libraries' catalog. The Classic Catalog is recommended for locating specific authors and titles. SUMMON's interface does allow easy searching of multiple formats.
 
Searching Tips:
  • French writers are usually listed under their family name.   
    • e.g. Aulnoy, Madame d' (Marie-Catherine)
  • Be aware of variant spellings as well as how accent marks are treated in various catalogs.
  • Early modern authors may be listed by their title. Older resources may not cross reference these variant listings.
    • e.g.  Charrière, Madame de  or  Charrière, Isabelle
  • Articles should not be used if they appear at the beginning of a title.
    • e.g.  Princesse de Clèves
  • Certain individual titles may not be available in separate editions in our library. Check for complete works/œuvres which may contain the specific work.
  • The Classic Catalog subject search is based upon a thesaurus of terms developed by the Library of Congress.
    • e.g.  French fiction-18th century-History and Criticism or Enlightenment.

Suggested Databases by Topic- Marie Antoinette

Art & Architecture Source

Journals, books, and images covering fine arts, decorative and commercial art, architecture and architectural design.

ARTstor

Art, architecture, and archaeology images including images from the Smithsonian, the MoMA collection for architecture and design and the Schlesinger photograph collection on the history of women in America.

Historical Abstracts

Index to articles about world history, excluding the United States and Canada, from 1450 to the present. Covers history of specific subjects in the humanities, social sciences and sciences.

Humanities Index

Index and abstracts to humanities journals and weekly magazines published in the United Kingdom (UK) and English speaking countries, as well as newspapers published in the UK.

Humanities International Index

Index to journals, books and other sources in the humanities, produced by Whitson Publishing.

JSTOR This link opens in a new window

Full-text archive of scholarly publications, including ebooks, in mathematics, science, the arts and humanities, and the social sciences.

Project Muse This link opens in a new window

Journals in the humanities, social sciences, and mathematics, published by Johns Hopkins University Press.