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Featured Tertiary Source: Cambridge Histories
The Cambridge Histories series is an indispensable reference collection with over 300 titles spanning 15 subject areas, including literary studies. Each (often multi-volume) history provides a big-picture perspective of its subject, introduces readers to existing scholarship, and proposes new trends in the field.
The Cambridge History of French Literature by
Call Number: PQ103 .C26 2011 Print Books
This History covers French literature from its beginnings to the present day. With equal attention to all genres, historical periods and registers, this is the most comprehensive guide to literature written in French ever produced in English, and the first in decades to offer such an array of topics and perspectives.
What about books?
Scholarly books can also be excellent sources for locating background information or placing your topic in context with related issues. Search Collins Library Primo Search for titles. A sampling of potentially relevant books is listed below.
A History of Modern French Literature by An accessible and authoritative new history of French literature from the Renaissance through the twentieth century.
Call Number: PQ103 .H57 2017 Print Books
Publication Date: 2017
French Literature: a cultural history by This book is the first to offer a cultural history of French literature from its very beginnings, analyzing the relationship between French literature and France's evolving power structures from the Middle Ages through to the present day.
Call Number: PQ142 .F56 2010 Print Books
Publication Date: 2010
The Cambridge Companion to French Literature by In this authoritative and accessible account of French literature, sixteen essays by leading specialists offer provocative insights into French literary culture, its genres, movements, themes, and historic turning points, including the cultural and linguistic challenges of today's multi-ethnic France.
Call Number: PQ103 .L95 2016 Print Books
The Cambridge Introduction to Francophone Literature by This book provides an introduction to the literatures that have emerged in the French-speaking countries and regions of the world in recent decades, illustrating their astonishing breadth and diversity, and exploring their constant state of tension with the literature of France.
Call Number: PQ3809 .C67 2007 Print Books
Publication Date: 2007
Getting Started With Subject Encyclopedias
Subject encyclopedias, handbooks and overviews are scholarly, tertiary works written by experts on a variety of topics. The articles are typically longer and more detailed than those found in general encyclopedias. The background information provides a good starting point as you begin the research process. These resources can help you with:
- Understanding the scope of a topic
- Suggesting ideas for narrowing a topic
- Identifying key concepts, terms, dates and names
- Listing subject areas related to a topic
- Recommending sources for further exploration
In Collins Library, the print reference collection is located on the first floor, and most of the online reference collection is available in one of the databases listed below. Use Collins Library Primo Search to identify subject encyclopedias in either format; or ask a librarian for recommendations.
Provides full text access to over 100 encyclopedias, with strengths in the arts, humanities, and medicine.
Provides full text access to hundreds of Oxford reference titles, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks.
Provides full-text access to dozens of Sage reference books, with a strong emphasis on the social sciences.
Literature Resource Center
Full-text database of bio-critical essays on authors, along with representative examples of book reviews (both popular and scholarly) and literary criticism.
Poetry & Short Story Reference Center
A collection of full-text poetry, short stories, and supplemental content, as well as biographies and authoritative essays on such topics as poetic forms, movements and techniques.
Biography Reference Center
A collection of full-text biographies, including the complete full-text run of Biography Today and Biography.
Featured Subject Encyclopedias for French Literature & Culture
The New Oxford Companion to Literature in French by
Call Number: PQ41 .N48 1995 Reference
Publication Date: 1995
Surveys literature in French from all over the world, identifying writers from many countries, intellectual and cultural movements, and literary and theatrical genres.
Guide to French Literature by
Call Number: PQ226 .L48 1992 v. 1-2 Reference
Publication Date: 1993
Surveys the lives and works of famous French writers from the roots of French literature to the present. Entries are devoted to the primary writers, with some entries on important movements, literary groups and publications.
The Feminist Encyclopedia of French Literature by
Call Number: PQ149 .F47 1999 Reference
Publication Date: 1999
Spans French literature from the Middle Ages to the present and covers writers who lived and worked mainly in France. The volume begins with a feminist history of French literature and concludes with a selected, general bibliography and a chronology of women writers.
Gale Contextual Encyclopedia of World Literature
Call Number: Click on the title above for online access
Publication Date: 2009
Covers world authors from many periods and genres, building a broad understanding of the various contexts--from the biographical to the literary to the historical--in which literature can be viewed.
Select an author, theme, or literary movement related to your topic to explore using the tertiary sources featured on this page. Consult at least 2 different encyclopedias for information about your topic and reflect on the following questions:
- Does your topic or term have its own entry, or is discussion of it embedded within a larger topic? In other words, how is it categorized?
- How might the information you found be useful for helping you explore significant works and topics related to French literature?
- What additional sources does the subject encyclopedia point you to?