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French Language and Literature: Full Text Collections

Library resources for information about French language and literature.

Primary Text Collections Online

  • The ARTFL Project

  • The Project for American and French Research on the Treasury of the French Language (ARTFL) is a cooperative enterprise of the Laboratoire ATILF (Analyse et Traitement Informatique de la Langue Française) of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the Division of the Humanities, the Division of the Social Sciences, and Electronic Text Services (ETS) of the University of Chicago.
    • Search the ARTFL - FRANTEXT Database
      • Bibliography of ARTFL - FRANTEXT
      • "The ARTFL implementation of the FRANTEXT database (formerly the Trésor de la Langue Française) consists of over 2600 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, poetry, theater, journalism, essays, correspondence, and treatises. Subjects include literary criticism, biology, history, economics, and philosophy. In most cases standard scholarly editions were used in converting the text into machine-readable form, and the data contain page references to these editions."
    • Collections of Texts
    • ARTFL Reference Collection
    • ARTFL Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers [Diderot/D'Alembert]
    • EFTS (Electronic Full-Text Sources), arranged by Language & Subject
    • EFTS (Electronic Full-Text Sources). French
      (Note: NYU does not subscribe to all of the resources listed)
      (Note: See subcategory "Other Text Sources" for pointers to free online e-texts) 
    • Database & Searching Tips:
      • Because of copyright restrictions, some but not all texts are available for reading start to finish.
      • Accents count, so if you're unsure, use ALL CAPS to avoid false negative results.
      • Use .* to truncate.
      • Boolean: use | for OR and a space for AND
      • See User Documentation rules regarding search syntax, wildcards, truncation, etc. 
      • Search Examples -- Frequency by author searchs:
        • CORNEILLE PIERRE | RACINE JEAN in author field + LIBERTE in search text field
        • ZOLA in author + FAIM in search text field

  • Gallica Bibliothèque Numérique

    (Bibliothèque nationale de France)
    • Browse (Découverte): Thèmes, Chronologies, Iconographie, monnaies, Dictionnaires, Mode texte
    • Dossiers: theme-based scholarship, guides, essays, mp3 files, etc.
    • Search 
    • Database & Searching Tips:
      • Database (i.e. searchable records) includes text & images
      • Keyword search of PDF & Tiff Images: searches titles, tables of contents & catalog records
      • Keyword search of Text Files: also looks in entire texts
      • Accents don't matter
      • Search for "Documents sonores" doesn't search in the special "documents sonores" in the dossier "La voix sur Gallica" (i.e. not Apollinaire, Barrès, Durkheim, etc.)
      • Search Examples --
        • Keyword search (Recherche libre): cafe-concert (note audio file)
        • ZOLA in author + FAIM in keyword (note: compare to results in ARTFL)
        • AMOUR + FAIM

  • ABU : la Bibliothèque Universelle

  • Ces textes sont produits et diffusés par les membres bénévoles de l' Association des Bibliophiles Universels.
    L'association a pour objet le développement et la promotion des supports numériques permettant la libre manipulation de l'information, l'application de ces techniques à la diffusion des travaux de recherche des membres et d'informations du domaine public.

Numerique Premium

The Numérique Premium catalogue allows you to browse a selection of more than 1,800 titles, filter them by collection, type of books, period, publisher. In most cases, NYU has access to the full text viewer in streaming mode. 

Discovering and Evaluating Full-Text Online Collections

I. How to Discover Full-Text Collections

  • The Arch @ NYU Libraries via E-Resources by Subject & Format page
  • BobCat, cataloged by collection and sometimes by title ("analyzed"). 
    • Title search for "Early English Books Online" --> collection record + analytics
    • Title search for "ARTFL" --> collection records (no analytics)
    • Recherche Combinée for "Rabelais" (auteur) and "Femmes" (titre) --> 5 hits with 1 "document electronique" --> visualiser
    • Note: because of copyright restrictions, not all electronic texts cataloged in BN-OPALE PLUS are available on the web. (try "Zola" auteur & "Bete" titre)
  • Metasites for French Materials:
    • TennesseeBob's Famous French Links:
      rassemble depuis 1995 une vaste webliothèque des ressources francophones liées. Les soixante-dix-neuf pages du site mènent à des millions de pages de textes littéraires, des centaines de cours et leçons complètes en langue française, des dictionnaires, et des milliards d'activités de grammaire.
    • CUNY's Ressources Internet Francophones
      • Skim the "Littérature et bibliothèques" page; look at "Bibliothèque Electronique de Lisieux" --> "Index".
      • Q: Who's Thomas Spear?
    • ClicNet, un site culturel et littéraire francophone:
      ClicNet édite ou localise des ressources virtuelles en français pour les étudiants, les enseignants de français langue étrangère (FLE) ou langue seconde (FLS), et tous ceux qui s'intéressent aux cultures, aux arts et aux littératures francophones. Situé à l'Université de Swarthmore (Pennsylvanie, USA), ClicNet est réalisé par Carole Netter.
  • Google
    • Search for: Que l'homme est malheureux qui au monde se fie
  • II. How to Evaluate the Quality of Full-Text Collections

    • Consider the following:
    • Reliability of the works?
    • Scholarly editions? (Is full bibliographic data available for each item?)
    • Scholarly apparatus? (search interface? output options? etc.)
    • Organization of site? Coherence of collection? Clarity of mission?
    • Quality of transcription?
    • Compiled / created by whom?
    • Scholarly credentials?
    • Etc.

Microform Collections in NYU Bobst Microforms (LL2)

French Books, Before 1601 and 1601-1700

  • Call no: Film 706
  • Arrangement: By group (pre-1601 or 1601-1700) and assigned reel number. See 'Access,' below.
  • Contents: Comprehensive collection of books printed in any language in France (mainly French and Latin), and books in French printed outside of France.
  • Based on: British Museum. Department of Printed Books. Short title catalogue of books Printed in France and of French Books Printed in Other Countries from 1470-1600 in the British Museum. Bobst Ref1 Z2162.B86 Goldsmith, Valentine F. A Short Title Catalogue of French Books, 1601-1700 in the Library of the British Museum. Bobst Ref1 Z2162.B87. Many titles from additional sources have been included in the microfilm collection. See 'Access,' below.
  • Access:
    1. A Guide to French Books Before 1601. (PDF, 3M)
    2. A Guide to French Books, 1601-1700. (PDF, 200K)
  • Both guides include Author index and Title index.


French Political Pamphlets 1547-1648

  • Call no: Film 2200
  • Arrangement: By consecutive item numbers, following the chronological arrangement of the source bibliography and its supplement. Titles from the supplement were inserted into the main sequence by assigning decimal suffixes; e.g supplement item 1473.1 is filmed just after item 1473. See also Access, below.
  • Contents: French pamphlets documenting social, political and religious issues of the period 1547-1648. Included are government and royal proclamations, pamphlets by religious and political leaders, and inflammatory items from the underground press. Contains around ninety percent of the titles listed in Lindsay and Neu's bibliography of French pamphlets in American libraries, more than 7000 titles in all.
  • Access:
    1. Lindsay, Robert O. and Neu, John. French Political Pamphlets 1547-1648, a Catalog of Major Collections in American Libraries. Bobst Ref1 Z2177.5.L54. The source bibliography, arranged by year and author, with title/author index.
    2. French Political Pamphlets 1547-1648, a Supplement. Bobst Ref1 Z2177.5.L54 suppl. Lists around five hundred items added to the collection; arranged by year and author, with a reel list for the entire collection, and an author/title index.


Utopies au Siècle des Lumières

  • Call no: MF102 (microfiche)
  • Arrangement: By author/title.
  • Contents: French utopian writings of the 18th century, all in French, including some translations from other languages. Includes works of fiction, poetry, and political philosophy. Forty-one titles in all. See also the publisher's guide, under Access, below.
  • Access: Individual titles are listed in BobCat. Publisher's guide: Soboul, Albert. Utopies au Siècle des Lumières, Etude et Bibliographie. MF102 index, at the first floor Reference Desk and in the Microform Center. Author/title list, essay on 18th century French utopian ideas, commentary on individual works in the collection.


Sex Research: Early Literature from Statistics to Erotica

  • Call no: Film 2195
  • Arrangement: By reel and item number from the publisher's guide (see Access, below). Alternatively, the collection is divided into four sections: I. Sexual behavior and attitudes, II. Sex, law, and medicine, III. Sex and literature, and IV. Sex and the humanities. Titles are arranged by main entry within each section.
  • Contents: Diverse works concerned with human sexuality from 1700- 1860, with a few 18th or 19th century editions of earlier titles. Medical, social, legal, and literary works are included. Most works are from Europe and America, mainly in English or French, with some art books from China and Japan. Filmed from the collection of the Alfred C. Kinsey Institute for Sex Research, around 1000 titles in all.
  • Access: Publisher's guide: Sex Research: Early Literature for Statistics to Erotica, Guide to the Microfilm Collection. HQ60.S49 1983, in the Social Science Center. Cumulative main entry (usually author) and title index; plus a main entry index/reel guide for each section of the collection.


Fin-de-Siècle Symbolist and Avant-Garde Periodicals

  • Contents: 30 periodicals of the late 19th century concerned all or in part with symbolism and the avant-garde. Many of these journals also published political, sociological, and philosophical articles, poetry, essays, literary criticism, as well as theater, art and music reviews. Titles included in this set were selected from "A Chronological List of the Most Important Periodicals in the Symbolist Movement, 1881-99," compiled by Kenneth Cornell in his book, The Symbolist Movement (New Haven, 1951).
  • Access: Microfilm is located in the Microforms room on the LL2 of Bobst Library. Film is shelved alphabetically by the name of the journal, with a few exceptions (see below for details). Individual journal titles are listed in BobCat.
    • L'Art Littéraire 
      Location: microfilm, under title L'Art Littéraire
      Paris, no. 1-13, Oct. 1892 - Dec. 1893; No. 1-12, 1894.
      Founded by Louis Lormel, this magazine includes contributions by Remy de Gourmont, Mallarmé, Jarry, Saint-Pol-Roux, Gide and others. In addition to poetry and articles it contains interesting graphics.
    • Arte: Revista International 
      Location: microfilm, under title Arte
      Coimbra, Vol. 1 (No. 1-8), Nov. 1895 - June 1896.
      See microfilm reel with title: L'art littéraire.

      This little magazine, founded and edited in Portugal by Eugenio de Castro and Manuel da Silva Gayo, contains French contributions by Verlaine, Kahn, Merrill, Saint-Pol-Roux, and Gourmont. It testifies to the rapid dispersion of French Symbolist themes and forms.

    • La Basosche 
      Location: microfilm, under title Basosche
      Brussels, Vol. 1-2 (No. 1-16), Nov. 1884 - Apr 1886.
      See microfilm reel with title: L'art littéraire.

      Contains poetry by Fontainas, Merrill, Mikhaël, and Quillard, as well as the first of René Ghil's manifestoes. This was the first Belgian magazine to establish links with the French Symbolists.

    • Le Boulevard; Journal Littéraire Illustré 
      Location: microfilm, under title Boulevard
      Paris, numéro spécimen, Dec. 1, 1861; Vol. 1-2, No. 24, Jan. 5, 1862 - June 14, 1863.
      This is, strictly speaking, a pre-Symbolist periodical. It is included in the present list because of its publication of Baudelaire, Leconte de Lisle, and other important precursors of the Symbolist movement. Its pages contain numberous brilliant caricatures and other graphics by Daumier, Bénassit, Bouquet, Pastelot, Regamey, etc. Never popular with the government, its existence was eventually terminated by the official censors.
    • Le Centaure 
      Location: microfilm, under title Boulevard
      Paris, Vol. 1-2, 1896
      Founded and edited by Henri Albert in collaboration with Pierre Louÿs and others. This brief but elegant periodical contains important poems and critical essays by Régnier, Gide, Valéry, Herold, and Tinan. It also contains some outstanding graphics by Besnard, Rops, Léandre, Blanche, and others.
    • Le Chat Noir (4 reels) 
      Location: microfilm, under title Chat Noir
      Paris, Vol. 1-14 (No. 1-688), 1882-1895
      Published weekly out of Rodolphe Salis' Artists' Cafe. It contains poetry and other items by Verlaine, Rollinat, Morice, Samain, Dubus, Bloy, Cros, and many others. Whimsical, satiric, and thoroughly fin-de-siecle illustrations also appear in its pages.
    • Chimère; Revue Indépendente d'Insolence Littéraire 
      Location: microfilm, under title Chimère
      Paris, Vol. 1-2 (No. 1-16), Aug. 1891 - June 1893.
      Published by Paul Redonnel out of Montpellier. This little magazine has the added interest of containing the poetry of writers from the south of France as well as many contributions by Parisian poets.
    • La Conque; Anthologie des Plus Jeunes Poètes. 
      Location: microfilm, under title Chimère
      Paris, No. 1-11, 1891 - 1892
      This magazine is particularly noteworthy for the early poems of Louÿs, Gide, and, especially, Valéry. It also contains contributions by Régnier, Léon Blum, and the "décadent" Swinburne.
    • Le Coq Rouge, Revue Littéraire 
      Location: microfilm, under title Chimère
      Brussels, Vol. 1-3, No. 1, May 1895 - June 1897
      Includes contributions from Viélé-Griffin, Gourmont, Gide, Ghéon, Kahn, and Jammes, as well as from Belgian authors. It was originally founded as a protest against La Jenue Belgique, which, in its opinion, had already become reactionary.
    • Ecrits pour l'Art Littéraire et Philosophique 
      Location: microfilm, under title Chimère
      Paris, Vol. 1, 1905
      Founded and edited by Jean Rogère, this little magazine consciously adopted the same name as Ghil's 1887-92 journal. Ghil himself contributed to this latter day Ecrits, along with Pelletier, Nau, Dantinne, Fayolle, and Randau. The journal is also distinguished for its publication of translations of Russian Symbolists such as Bal'mont.
    • Les Entretiens Politiques et Littéraires (2 reels) 
      Location: microfilm, under title Entretiens Politiques et Littéraires
      Paris, No. 1-57, Mar. 1, 1890 - Dec. 25, 1893
      Founded by Henri de Régnier, Paul Adam, Georges Vanor, Bernard Lazare, and F. Viélé-Griffin. It also includes contributions by Quillard, Gide, Mallarmé, Saint-Pol-Roux. Lecomte, and Malo. During its brief life, it served as the crossroads for a wide variety of French literary and political currents, though the Symbolist influence was strongest.
    • L'Ermitage (10 reels) 
      Location: microfilm, under title Ermitage
      Paris, Vol. 1-35, Apr. 1890-1906
      Along with La PlumeMercure de France, and La Revue Blanche, this was one of the four main organs of the Symbolist movement. Like its peers it devoted space to historical, philosophical, and sociological topics as well as poetry, literary essays and reviews, and theatrical and fine arts articles. Founded by Henri Mazel, it was later edited by Stuart Merrill, Louis le Cardonnel, and Hughes Rebell. Some other contributors include Tailhade, Viélé-Griffin, Maurras, Régnier, and Rambosson.
    • Les Ibis 
      Location: microfilm, under title Ibis
      Paris. No. 1-4, 1894
      One of the brief but bright ephemera that were springing up all over the Symbolist movement. This one was founded by Degron and Klingsor, and it contains poetry by Viélé-Griffin, Retté, Gérardy, Régnier, Dierx, Signoret, and others.
    • La Jeune Revue Littéraire 
      Location: microfilm, under title Jeune Revue Littéraire
      Brussels, Vol 1, 1880
      This was the immediate predecessor of La Jeune Belgiqueand includes contributions by Hymans, Gros, Grésil, Berlier, and Albert Orth.
    • La Jeune Belgique, Revue d'Art et de Critique (5 reels) 
      Location: microfilm, under title Jeune Belgique
      Brussels, Vol. 1-17, 1881 - Dec 25, 1897.
      Superseded La Jeune Revue Littéraire. This magazine functioned as both a positive and a negative force in Symbolism. It was founded by Max Waller, and after 1889, when Verhaeren became associated with it, the French Symbolists began appearing regularly in its pages. But subsequent to 1894 it began conducting as anti-free verse campaign, thus inspiring the counter-attacks in Le Coq Rouge.
    • La Jeune France 
      Location: microfilm, under title Jeune France
      Paris, Vol 1-7, May 1, 1878 - Dec 1884.
      This periodicals subsequently merged into La Revue Indépendante but it had a very distinguished life of its own. It was founded by Albert Allenet and included on editorial board Jules Claretie and Alphones Daudet. Among its other contributors were Barrès, Dierx, Rollinat, Junes Romain, and Anatole France.
    • Mercure de France (160 reels + 2 index reels) 
      Location: microfilm, under title Mercure de France
      Paris, Vol. 1-354, 1890 - 1965
      Founded by Alfred Vallette to succeed La PléiadeMercure de France is far and away the most important periodical of the Symbolist movement. It outlasted Symbolism as well as a myriad other subsequent literary, artistic, political, etc., currents. During its seventy-five year existence Mercure was one of the single most important French intellectual and artistic journals. Its entire run is re-published here. The indexes for each year's issues of the Mercure have been consolidated in a single film sequence as well as being filmed in their original place.
    • Le Parnasse Contemporain; Recueil de Vers Nouveaux 
      Location: microfilm, under title Parnasse Contemporain
      Paris, série 1-3, 1866 - 1876
      Though this journal formally preceded the Symbolist movement, its pages were an outlet for early Mallarmé as well as for pre- and proto-Symbolist poets such as Baudelaire, Dierx, Hérédia, and Leconte de Lisle.
    • La Pléiade 
      Location: microfilm, under title Parnasse Contemporain
      Paris, Vol. 1 (No. 1-7), Mar. 1886 - Nov. 1886; 1-2, 1889 - 1890
      Founded by Rodolphe Darzens, La Pléiade had among its contributors Ephraim Mikhael, Saint-Pol-Roux, P. Quillard, René Ghil, Maeterlinck, van Lerberghe, and others. The later series included work by Brinn Gaubast, Tailhade, Rachilde, Barrès, Aurier, Dubus, and Dumur. It was La Pléiade that was the immediate predecessor of Mercure de France.
    • La Plume (9 reels) 
      Location: microfilm, under title Plume
      Paris, Vol 1-25, Apr. 15, 1889 - July 1913.
      One of the most important journals of the period, probably second in importance to Mercure de France. It was founded by Deschamps and included contributions from all the various literary currents afoot: Symbolism, Decadentism, Occultism, Regionalism, etc. It contains many special issues on such figures as Moréas, Baudelaire, Verlaine, and such schools as the Félibres, the Décadents, and the Occultists. Also included are many graphics and plates.
    • Le Reveil; Recueil Mensuel de Littérature et d'Art (2 reels) 
      Location: microfilm, under title Reveil
      Bruxelles, Vol. 1-6, 1891 - 96
      This journal became important for French literary movements beginning in 1892. It contains contributions by Souchon, Viélé-Griffin, Klingsor, Régnier, and Herold.
    • La Revue Blanche (8 reels) 
      Location: microfilm, under title Revue Blanche
      Paris, Vol. 1-30, Oct. 1891 - Apr. 14, 1903
      Founded by Alexandre Natanson, this magazine was, along with L'ErmitageMercure de France, and La Plume, one of the most important journals of the nineties. Like them it was devoted to much more than Symbolism or even literature. It was a fully general review of all the arts and related intellectual currents. Mallarmé, Viélé-Griffin, Gourmont, Kahn, Blum, Bernard, Mauclair, and Dujardin are among its contributors. For a time Debussy wrote its musical reviews. Like La Plume it contains many interesting graphics, some being lithographs by Toulouse-Lautrec and others.
    • Revue d'Aujourd'hui 
      Location: microfilm, under title Revue d'Aujourd'hui
      Paris, Vol. 1-2, (No. 1-15), Jan. - Sept. 1890
      Tola Dorian edited this journal in collaboration with Darzens. Two of the high points of its brief existence were Mallarmé's essay "Villiers de l'Isle Adam," and Villiers de l'Isle Adam's own piece. "Amour Sublime."
    • Revue Indépendante de Littérature et d'Art (8 reels) 
      Location: microfilm, under title Revue Indépendante de Littérature et d'Art
      Paris, Vol. 1-2, May 1884 - Apr. 1885; Series 2 Vol. 1, May 1885; Series 3 Vol. 1-26 (No. 1-797), Nov 1886 - Sept. 1895.
      Founded by Fénéon, this magazine was one of the critical outlets of Mallarmé's group, though it contains items by other Symbolists and non-Symbolists. Some of its contributors are Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, Barrès, Bourges, Péladan, Vignier, Ghil, Laforgue, Moréas, and Wyzewa.
    • La Revue Naturiste 
      Location: microfilm, under title Revue Naturiste
      Paris, Vol. 1-2, 1897 - 1898
      As its title indicates this journal was an organ for Naturism. Among its contributors were Boubélier, Montfort, Le Blond, Viollis, and Fleury.
    • La Revue Wagnérienne 
      Location: microfilm, under title Revue naturiste
      Paris, Vol. 1-3, 1885 - 1888
      This magazine testifies throughout its pages to the enormous influence of Wagner in the arts other than music during the second half of the nineteenth century. The Symbolists were especially interested in Wagner's attempt to synthesize music and poetic drama and they contributed eagerly to the pages of the Revue. Included are poems and articles by Mallarmé, Ghil, Merrill, Vignier, Dujardin, Verlaine, and Teodor de Wyzewa.
    • Le Scapin 
      Location: microfilm, under title Revue naturiste
      Paris, Vol. 1-2, Dec. 1, 1885 - Aug. 16, 1886; Series 2, Nos. 1-9, Sept. 1, 1886 - Dec 31, 1886
      This was one of Alfred Vallette's early outlets. It also includes poems and essays by Mallarmé, Verlaine, Tailhade, Rachilde, Renard, Samain, Dubus, Lorrain, Le Cardonnel, and Ghil. From its contributors, it might be regarded as the grandfather of Mercure de France with La Pléiade being the father.
    • La Société Nouvelle; Revue Internationale. Sociologie, Arts, Sciences, Lettres 
      Location: microfilm, under title Société Nouvelle
      Brussels, etc., Vol. 1-53, No. 1, 1884 - July/Sept. 1914
      Founded and first edited by Fernand Brouez, this journal was one of the major fixtures in Belgian literary and cultural circles. It crossed paths with Symbolism particularly during the years 1892 - 1895, when contributions by Gustave Kahn, Régnier, Saint-Pol-Roux, and Viélé-Griffin frequently marked its pages. Like Mercure de France, its scope was much broader than literature alone, as its sub-title testifies. Its pages included some of the early French translations of Nietzsche.
    • Les Taches d'Encre 
      Location: microfilm, under title Taches d'Encre
      Paris, Nos. 1-4, Nov. 5, 1884 - Feb. 1885
      This was Maurice Barrès's own private journal. It is most important for its essay on Baudelaire in which the emerging Symbolist poetry was discussed under the rubric of "décadent."
    • La Vogue (2 reels) 
      Location: microfilm, under title Vogue
      Paris, Vol. 1-3, 1886 - 1887; Jan. 1899 - May 1901
      This magazine was first published by Leo d'Orfer and Gustave Kahn. It is especially important for its publication of Rimbaud. Also included are items by Laforgue, Mallarmé, Kahn, Vignier, Verlaine, Ghil, and, from the later period, Klingsor, Merrill, Pilon, Fleury, Verhaeren, Jammes, and Gasquet.