Romance Languages and Literatures

The Romance languages and literatures collection contains materials for literary and linguistic studies of the French-, Italian-, Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking regions of the world. We collect literature and literary criticism of all genres and historical periods, and include works in regional languages such as Catalan, Galician, and some Italian dialects.

The collection is strong in works from the medieval, Renaissance, and Golden Age periods, as well as the contemporary belles-lettres. In the area of language studies, we have a wealth of dictionaries, including those of dialects and regional vocabularies, as well as historical linguistic studies.

This collection includes research material in all formats including print, online, video and microfilm.

Regions represented

The Spanish language literature materials are particularly representative of the literature of Spain, Argentina, Mexico, and the Caribbean region, especially Cuba.

Historically, our French materials were focused on published works from France, but in recent years have greatly expanded to include a growing selection from Francophone Africa, Canada, the Caribbean, and French Polynesia.

The majority of Portuguese materials showcase literature from Portugal and Brazil, but more texts from the Portuguese-speaking African countries are being added. 

Important related collections 

Related items can be found at the Special Collections Research Center, in the artists’ books collection, and our comic books and graphic novels. The Special Collections Research Center also features a collection of Cuban handmade books made in Matanzas, Cuba under the imprint Ediciones Vigía, and titles made by Cuban artist Rolando Estévez under the El Fortín imprint.

Research guides

Online exhibit

Detail of the engraved title page of The history of Don-Quichote. The first parte, translated by Thomas Shelton (1620).


Barbara Alvarez

Director, International Studies; Librarian for Romance Languages & Literatures, French, Italian & Iberian Studies, and Comparative Literature

University of Michigan Library

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