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French Literature: A Guide to Resources: Specialized Encyclopedias & Guides

A guide to reference sources and databases available through the Cornell University Library

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Selected Reference Sources

The Library of Congress classification for French Literature is the range PQ 1-4000. Circulating material in this class is located on the 3rd floor of Olin Library. Reference materials are on the first floor.


Cambridge History of French Literature edited by William Burgwinkle, Nicholas Hammond and Emma Wilson. Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2011.
"From Occitan poetry to Francophone writing produced in the Caribbean and North Africa, from intellectual history to current films, and from medieval manuscripts to bandes dessine;es, 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. Contributors attend to issues of orality, history, peripheries, visual culture, alterity, sexuality, religion, politics, autobiography and testimony."-- publisher.

Dictionnaire des écrivains francophones classiques: Afrique subsaharienne, Caraïbe, Maghreb, Machrek, Océan Indien. Christiane Chaulet-Achour ; avec la collaboration de Corinne Blanchaud ; Paris : Champion, 2010.Olin Reference PQ3897 C43 2010

Dictionnaire des écrivains francophones classiques: Belgique, Canada, Québec, Luxembourg, Suisse romande.  Corinne Blanchaud; Paris : Champion, 2013.  Olin Reference

Dictionnaire des grandes œuvres de la littérature française sous la direction de Henri Mitterand. Paris : Dictionnaires Le Robert, c1992. Library Annex PQ41 D528x 1992

Dictionnaire des Lettres Francaises. Paris: Fayard, 1951-1972. Olin Reference PQ 41 D56+
Alphabetically arranged literary encyclopedia of the French Renaissance. Sources listed with each entry. 7 vols. (vols 3 and 5 in two parts)

Dictionnaire de littérature française contemporaine, Claude Bonnefoy, Tony Cartano, Daniel Oster, avec la collaboration de Jean-Louis Ézine ... [et al.]. Paris : J.-P. Delarge, [c1977] Library Annex PQ305 B71

Dictionnaire des Litteratures de Langue Francaise. Paris: Bordas, 1984. Olin Reference PQ 41 B37+
Three-volume history of French literature arranged alphabetically rather than by historical period. Illustrated.

Dictionnaire des Oeuvres Littéraires de Langue Française, Jean-Pierre de Beaumarchais, Daniel Couty. Paris : Bordas, 1994. 4 vols. Olin Reference PQ 41 B37 D5++

Feminist Encyclopedia of French Literature. Eva Martin Sartori, editor-in-chief. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1999. Print copy: Olin stacks PQ149 F47x 1999

Kempton, Richard. French Literature: an Annotated Guide to Selected Bibliographies. Modern Language Association, 1981 Olin Reference Z 2171 A1 K32 1981
Brief but substantive overview of the major bibliographic sources in the field.

Coleman, Kathleen. Guide to French Poetry Explication. New York : G.K. Hall, 1993. Olin Reference PQ401 C71

Histoire de la Langue et de la Litterature Francaise des Origines a 1900. Paris: Colin & Co., 1897, Olin Reference PQ 101 P48
A narrative literary history with some emphasis on the language of the historical periods covered. Dated but illustrated.

Histoire de la littérature de langue française des années 1930 aux années 1980, Pierre de Boisdeffre. Paris : Libr. académique Perrin, 1985. 2 vols. Olin stacks PQ305 B68 1985

Baker, Robert K. Introduction to Library Research in French Literature. Westview Press, 1978. Olin Reference Z 2171 B16

Hollier, Denis, ed. New History of French literature. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1994. Olin Reference PQ119 N48 1994z+

France, Peter, ed. New Oxford Companion to Literature in French. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995. Print copy: Olin Reference PQ 41 N53 1995

Osburn, Charles B. Research and Reference Guide to French Studies. 2nd ed. (Scarecrow Press, 1981) Olin Reference Z 2175 A2 O81 1981