Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

FRENCH STUDIES: SUBJECT GUIDE: Primary Sources

Research starting points for French Studies

French Films

Collins Library has a growing collection of French cinema on DVD and through streaming video platforms. You can also request DVDs from SUMMIT and other libraries via ILL.

Search by the film's title, by the author/creator, or do a keyword search on your topic in Primo Search to see which films are available.

French Magazines

Paris-Match magazine

Collins Library subscribes to the print format of some popular French magazines. Past issues are located downstairs in the periodical collection, organized alphabetically by title.

The magazine collection includes:

  • Paris-Match
  • L'express

French Language Current Newspapers

Primary Sources in French Studies

What you will use as primary sources in French Studies will depend on the context of your assignment:

  • An assignment on some aspect of French civilization could use art or film as primary sources. 
  • An assignment for a French literature class would use literary texts as primary sources. 
  • A class on contemporary popular French culture could use current magazines or newspapers.

Enjoy exploring the various resources on this page!

ARTFL

ARTFL

Includes the searchable full text of over 3,000 French texts from the twelfth through the twentieth centuries! A special highlight is the eighteenth-century Encyclopedie!

Puget Sound Archives & Special Collections, French Studies

The Archives & Special Collections collects, preserves, and makes available primary source material documenting life at the University as well as collections representing regional, national and international issues.

A small selection of material is listed below, for additional sources, please contact archives@pugetsound.edu.

Bernard, Jean Louis, Tours d’arithmétique contains arithmetic exercises as well as numerous hand drawn illustrations from 1810.

Sarrans, B. (Bernard), Memoirs of General Lafayette and of the French revolution of 1830.

Descartes, René, Les principes de la philosophie, 1659.

Selected Digital Collections and Primary Sources Online

What's a primary source?

Primary sources are original, uninterpreted information.  Scholars analyze primary sources in order to answer research questions. Examples of primary sources vary by discipline.

Examples in the humanities:

  • a novel
  • a painting
  • a theatre performance

Examples in the social sciences:

  • a political, social, or economic theory
  • a dataset
  • the results of an experiment published in a peer-reviewed journal

Example in the sciences:

  • the results of an experiment published in a peer-reviewed journal

ARTstor

Artstor logo

Visual materials, including images, are examples of primary sources. There are many image collections in ARTstor that are pertinent to French Studies, including the Languages and Literature featured group which "highlights Artstor content related to languages and literature, including images of renowned authors and depictions of literary themes and characters, as well as contextual images that enhance understanding of the time periods and cultures shaping literary production."

Learn more about ARTstor collections relevant to Languages and Literature.

Archives & Special Collections Hours

The Archives & Special Collections is located on the second floor of the Collins Memorial Library.

Set up an appointment: We are open to researchers by appointment Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. To make an appointment, email archives@pugetsound.edu

Stop by during Drop-In Hours: We also have drop-in hours Monday through Thursday from 12:00 to 3:00 PM. Appointments are not required during drop-in hours.

We look forward to assisting you!

Need Help?

This subject guide highlights only a small portion of the many resources available to you. If you're not finding what you need, don't hesitate to contact Katy!

Katy Curtis, Humanities Librarian
email: kcurtis@pugetsound.edu
Schedule an appointment
tel: (253) 879-3672
office: Collins Library 140

If you can't find Katy, remember there are several ways to get help with your research

For immediate assistance, connect to our 24/7 Ask a Librarian chat service.