French Studies

Our French Studies collection primarily covers history and social sciences pertaining to France and Francophone countries around the world. Currently, we focus on history, philosophy, anthropology, folklore, education, fine arts and music, geography, political science and government, economics, religion, sociology, and history of science and medicine. 

Within these disciplines, particularly strong areas of the collection include Medieval and Renaissance Studies, history of colonization and the colonies, regional and local history of France, French Revolution, women’s and gender studies, and Christian-Muslim relations.

The collection includes research material in all formats including print, electronic, video and microform. We hold materials in English, French, French-based Creole, Arabic and some dialects of France. Notable niche collections include French political pamphlets (16th-19th century), the Guizot Collection of Pamphlets (1789-1870), and the publications of French local academic societies.

Important related collections 

In addition to the Romance Languages and Literatures Collection, related materials can be found in the Special Collections Research Center, Clark Library, and our comic books and graphic novels collection. 

Noteworthy item

The first edition of Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, par une société de gens de lettres accompanied by the Encyclopedia of Diderot and d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project maintained by the U-M Library.


Research guides

Map of Paris suburbs and surroundings from the 18th century

Le plan de Paris (1717) from the Clark Library Maps collection.


Photograph of Barbara Alvarez
Barbara Alvarez

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