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France & French Collections at the Library of Congress

Books About France

Jean de Paleologue, artitst. Imprimez vous mème 3000 copies sans manipulation avec l'automatique à billes Eyquem / PAL. 1899. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

French literary culture grew out of a tradition that revered both reading and writing. French became the Lingua Franca in the 18th century when diplomats used it as the common language to communicate. France's colonial expansion had the result of spreading the language far and wide including the continents of North America, Africa and Asia. Students in France are still encouraged to prioritize literature in their studies and France continues to be a major contributor to the international world of literature. When researching the country of France using the collections at the Library of Congress, the selected books listed below are a great place to start. Reference assistance can be found by visiting the European Reading Room, part of the Latin American, Caribbean & European Division (LAC&E).

The following selection offers an introductory sample of books covering the history and culture of France. They include works on Geography, Medieval Literature, Classic Literature, Contemporary Literature, Feminism, French Cinema, French Art, Colonial France, Postcolonial France/Francophone France, Philosophy, Architecture, Minority Languages and Communities, Gastronomy & Cooking, Fashion, and Nuclear Power. The individual texts have been chosen for their scholarly merit and breadth to provide accurate and comprehensive overviews of the various subjects. Taken together, they provide an outline for the study of France and its global influence. For more thorough lists of relevant literature on specific themes related to France, see the Library of Congress guides for French-American Almanacs, Reading in French: A Student's Guide to Francophone Literature & Language Learning, and Women of the French Revolution: A Resource Guide. Books, newspapers and serials are all considered part of the General Collections at the Library of Congress. The General Collections are housed in all three buildings of the Library, the Thomas Jefferson building, the John Adams building, and the James Madison building. Monographs can be ordered from any reading room in the Library, but newspapers and serials must be ordered in the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room located in the James Madison building.

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional digitized versions are included when available.

Overviews

Medieval & Early-Modern France (Pre-Revolution, First Empire)

Revolutionary France

Modern France

Second Empire & Decolonization

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional digitized versions are included when available.

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional digitized versions are included when available.

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional digitized versions are included when available.

French Culture

French Philosophy

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional digitized versions are included when available.

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional digitized versions are included when available. International biographical and genealogical databases are available at the Library's e-resources page. See also Biographie universelle, ancienne et moderne, Dictionnaire de biographie française, and the Index biographique française.

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional digitized versions are included when available.