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Syracuse University Libraries

French Language and Literature: FR400/600 The Visibility of the Translator

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



Please email or call Barbara Opar ( or 443-3518) 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 University Libraries have 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.  If an item is stored off site, a form will appear to request delivery. Bound periodicals are now located at the Facility.  For further details, see Delivery Services.


Feb 4, 2021

The "How tos" of Searching

  • French writers are usually listed under their family name. 
    • e.g. Gouges, Olympe de
  • Be aware of variant spellings.
  • Be aware that 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
  • A title is listed without an article if the article appears at the beginning of the title.
    • e.g.  Princesse de Clèves
  • Certain individual titles may not be available in separate editions. Check for œuvres which may contain the specific work.
  • The subject heading search in the classic catalog is based upon a thesaurus of terms developed by the Library of Congress.
    • e.g.  French fiction - 17th century-History and Criticism
  • Database subject searching is often keyword based so it creates a more broad-based search. The entire bibliographic entry is searched and not just the subject field.

Harvard Guide to Using Sources

Harvard Guide to Using Sources: The Harvard Guide to Using Sources is an easily accessible introductory guide to use of sources. It includes tips for students on finding, choosing, and integrating reliable sources into academic writing. The Guide provides examples of MLA, APA, and Chicago styles of citation and includes information on avoiding plagiarism.

Research Guides

Introduction to Library Research in French Literature

Z2171 B34, Carnegie


General Online Dictionaries

Collins French dictionary & grammar
HarperCollins, 2007.
Electronic resource:


A dictionary of argot : (French-English) 
Author:Knoblauch, W. von,


Pocket Oxford-Hachette French dictionary : French-English 
Oxford University Press, 2010.

Electronic resource:


Historical Online Dictionaries

Dictionarium latinogallicum de Robert Estienne, 1552


Dictionaire historique et critique de Pierre Bayle, 1740


Dictionaire critique de la langue française de Jean-François Féraud


Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française


Thresor de la langue françoyse de Jean Nicot, 1606

Specialized Online Dictionaries

Business French dictionary French-English, English-French.
P. Collin, 1995.
Electronic resource:


Routledge French technical dictionary = : Routledge dictionnaire technique anglais.
Routledge, 1994.
Electronic resource:

Print Dictionaries

Dictionnaire alphabétique et analogique de la langue française

de Paul Robert
PC2625 .R554 1985
Bird 2nd floor (reference) (does not circulate)


Dictionnaire etymologique de la langue française

PC2580 .B55 1964

Bird - 5th floor (reference) (does not circulate)


Dictionnaire de l’ancienne langue française

PC2889 .G6, 1982

Bird - 5th floor (oversize)


Dictionary of Modern Colloquial French

PC2640 .H47 1984

Bird - 5th floor


Dictionnaire du français medieval

PC2889 .M38 2015

Birth - 5th floor


Dictionnaire du français québécois

PC3645 .Q4 .D52 1985

Bird - 5th floor (reference) (does not circulate)


Dictionnaire des mots suisses de la langue française

PC3661 .N53 1990

Bird - 5th floor (reference) (does not circulate)


Dictionnaire thematique visual

PC2629 .C67 1987

Bird 2nd floor (reference) (does not circulate)


Le grand Larousse de la lange française

PC2625 .G7

Bird 2nd floor (reference) (does not circulate)


Lexis: dictionnaire de la langue française

PC2625 .L46 1975

Bird - 5th floor


Old French-English dictionary

PC2891 .H56 2000

Birth - 5th floor


Tresor de la langue française

PC2625 .I4

Bird 2nd floor (reference) (does not circulate)

Dictionaries for Translation Studies

Le bon usage : Grevisse langue française / Maurice Grevisse, André Goosse.

Author: Grevisse, Maurice, editor.

Published: Louvain-La-Neuve [Belgique] : De Boeck Supérieur, [2016]


Le bon usage : grammaire française avec des remarques sur la langue française d'aujourd'hui.

Author: Grevisse, Maurice.

Publisher: Gembloux (Belgique) J. Duculot, 1955.


The libraries are reviewing online possibilities for this resource.



The Texts

Begin your research using the literary databases. However, valuable information can often be found in tangential resourses, see specifics below.


Samuel Beckett


Nancy Huston


Jack Kerouac


Research Tips

  • Familiarize yourself with your topic before beginning your research. This will save time later.
  • Know the parameters of the reference tool(s) you are searching. Certain reference works only cover particular time periods or may not be comprehensive in scope. For instance, most online databases begin their coverage in the 1980s.
  • Make the fullest use possible of reference tools, including bibliographies which can lead you to other sources.
  • Read the source carefully. Note organizational differences between tools.
  • Be creative. Try alternative and related headings to locate the information you need.

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 point the way into the core literature of a topic 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.


Feb 4, 2021

Online Literary Resources


American writers in Paris, 1920-1939 
Publisher:Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1980.


Canadian writers before 1890 
Publisher:Detroit : Gale Research, c1990.


Canadian writers, 1890-1920 :
Publisher:Detroit : Gale Research, c1990.


Canadian writers since 1960.
Publisher:Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., c1986.


Classical myths and legends in the Middle Ages and Renaissance : a dictionary of allegorical meanings 
Author:Brumble, H. David.


Dictionnaire des mythes littéraires. English.
Companion to literary myths : heroes and archetypes


French novelists since 1960 
Publisher:Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research, c1989.


French dramatists, 1789-1914 
Publisher:Detroit : Gale Research, c1998.


Historical dictionary of French literature 
Author:Flower, John,


Nineteenth-century French poets 
Publisher:Detroit : Gale Group, c2000.


Modern French poets 
Publisher:Detroit : Gale Group, c2002.


Sixteenth-century French writers 
Publisher:Detroit : Thomson Gale, c2006.


Seventeenth-Century French Writers.
Publisher:Farmington Hills : Cengage Gale Oct. 2002


Twentieth-century French dramatists 
Author:O'Neil, Mary Anne,


Print Literature Guides

Bibliographie des auteurs moderns de langue française

PQ281 .T3

Bird 5th floor


Dictionnaire des littératures de langue française

PQ41 .B4 1994

Bird 5th floor


Dictionnaire de littérature contemporaine

PQ305 .B68

Bird 5th floor


Histoire de la langue et de la littérature française

PQ101 .P5

Bird 5th floor


Dictionnaire des écrivains suisses d’expression 


PQ3874 .N53 1994

Bird 2nd floor (reference) (does not circulate)


Dictionnaire des auteurs de langue française 

en Amérique 

du nord

PQ3900.2 .H36 1989

Bird 2nd floor (reference) (does not circulate)


Dictionnaire de littérature française 


PQ305 .B584

Bird 2nd floor (reference) (does not circulate)


New Oxford Companion to Literature in French

PQ41 .N48 1995

Bird 2nd floor (reference) (does not circulate)


Modern French Literature

PQ306 .M57

Bird 5th floor

French Grammar Resources Online

A French-English Grammar : A Contrastive Grammar on Translational Principles

Lingvisticæ Investigationes. Supplementa, v. 22
Salkoff, Morris

Modern French Grammar : A Practical Guide

Routledge Modern Grammars
Margaret Lang
Isabelle Perez

A Reference Grammar of French

Reference Grammars
Batchelor, R. E.
Chebli-Saadi, M.

A Systemic Functional Grammar of French : From Grammar to Discourse

Alice Caffarel-Cayron
Publication Information:
London : Continuum. 2006

Translation Perspectives/Lens

Ethnic Studies

When researching topics related to ethnicity, look for sources on cultural studies especially ones that are comparative in nature. 


Feminist/Gender Criticism 

Purdue University Online Writing Lab

Select sources which enable you to examine patterns of thought, behavior, roles, and power between the sexes. 


Race Theory

The Purdue source noted above identifies major theorists. Consider perceptions of race in the original work being studied. Look for resources that provide a broad overview of the time, place or society at large to explore context and gain insight on the issues. 


Psychoanalytic Resources

PEP Web Archive

A source to research archetypal criticism. 

Access available to full text until three years before current date. PEP Web provides access to the PEP Web archive, which contains both books and journal articles. The book archive includes the full text of the Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Freud's letters to his major collaborators and the full text of the major works by Wilfred Bion, Melanie Klein and Donald Winnicott along with other major psychoanalytic authors. The journals in the archive presently include the full text many premier English-language journals in psychoanalysis. 


Translation Guides

Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies

Edited ByMona Baker, Gabriela Saldanha

Edition 3rd Edition

First Published 2019


The Routledge companion to translation studies / edited by Jeremy Munday.

Publisher :London ; New York : Routledge, 2009.

P306 .R68 2009, Bird-5th Floor


The Routledge handbook of translation and culture / edited by Sue-Ann Harding and Ovidi Carbonell Cortés.

Published: Abigndon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge, an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, 2018.

P306.2 .R68 2018, Bird-5th Floor


Translation Databases

MLA International Bibliography (Highly Recommended)

Vendor: EBSCO

Description: Index to critical materials on literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore. Proved access to citations from worldwide publications, including periodicals, books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations, bibliographies and also MLA Directory of Periodicals. (Dates covered: 1926 - Present)



Contains records to over 100 million items in most (if not all) subject areas. The database can be searched for the original (uniform) title of the work and you may limit your search by the language that you are interested in to discover any translations.

Other Relevant Databases

ARTFL Project 

Vendor: University of Chicago

Description: The ARTFL implementation of the FRANTEXT database (formerly the Trésor de la Langue Française) consists of nearly 2000 texts, ranging from classic works of French literature to various kinds of non-fiction prose and technical writing. The eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries are about equally represented, with a smaller selection of seventeenth century texts as well as some medieval and Renaissance texts. Genres include novels, verse, theater, journalism, essays, correspondence, and treatises. Subjects include literary criticism, biology, history, economics, and philosophy.  


ARTFL - FRANTEXT Database This link opens in a new window

Description: Classic works of French literature, prose, and technical writing from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries covering literary criticism, biology, history, economics, and philosophy.


Historical Abstracts with Full-text

Vendor: EBSCOhost

Description: Historical Abstracts is an exceptional resource that covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present, including world history, military history, women's history, history of education, and more - essential for libraries supporting upper-division and graduate research. This authoritative database provides indexing of more than 1,700 academic historical journals in over 40 languages back to 1955. History and social science researchers have used Historical Abstracts to discover significant and groundbreaking work for more than 50 years.


Humanities Index This link opens in a new window

Description: 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 This link opens in a new window

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



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


Linguistics Abstracts Online : LABS This link opens in a new window

Description: Index and abstracts to scholarly articles published in linguistics journals.


LLBA: Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts

Vendor: ProQuest

Description: Abstracts of articles from approximately 2,000 serials published worldwide, coverage of recent books, enhanced dissertation listings from Dissertation Abstracts International, and bibliographic citations for book reviews that appear in journals abstracted for Sociological Abstracts LLC.