New: full electronic access to journal “French politics, culture and society”

Oxford users now have online access to the complete run of French politics, culture and society (ISSN 1558-5271),  vol. 0 (1983) to current, via SOLO or OU eJournals.

French politics culture and society journal coverFrench Politics Culture and Society is the journal of the Conference Group on French Politics & Society. The journal is jointly sponsored by the Institute of French Studies at New York University and the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University.

The Journal explores modern and contemporary France from the perspectives of the social sciences, history, and cultural analysis. It also examines the relationship of France to the larger world, especially Europe, the United States, and the former French Empire.

The editors welcome pieces on recent debates and events, as well as articles that explore the connections between French society and cultural expression of all sorts (such as art, film, literature, and popular culture).” Berghahn Publishers

The editor is Herrick Chapman with many eminent scholars on the editorial board.

It is indexed in a number of bibliographical databases including Historical Abstracts, America: History and Life and British Humanities Index which are accessible to Oxford historians via SOLO and OxLIP+.

Here is the table of contents of the very latest issue:

Volume 31, Number 3, Winter 2013

Liberating the Land or Absorbing a Community: Managing North African Migration and the Bidonvilles in Paris’s Banlieues
Melissa K. Byrnes

A Camp for Foreigners and “Aliens”: The Harkis’ Exile at the Rivesaltes Camp (1962–1964)
Jeannette E. Miller

Accueillir les Français rapatriés d’Algérie, histoire d’une régulation sociale par l’évitement des bidonvilles: L’exemple de Paris et du département de la Seine
Yann Scioldo-Zürcher

Settler Sites of Memory and the Work of Mourning
Andrea Smith


Rayonnement et propagande culturels français autour de la “panlatinité”: Les échanges entre intellectuels français et hispano-américains au début du vingtième siècle
Amotz Giladi

The prépa de proximité: A French Attempt at Affirmative Action in Higher Education?
William Poulin-Deltour


Street Level Bureaucracy in France: A Discussion of Vincent Dubois’s
The Bureaucrat and the Poor: Encounters in French Welfare Offices

Welfare As It Is
Frédéric Viguier

French Welfare Workers as Street-level Bureaucrats
Michael Lipsky

A Reply to Michael Lipsky and Frédéric Viguier’s Comments
Vincent Dubois



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Trial until 20 Dec: Numérique Premium – French history books online

I’m pleased to invite Oxford users to trial Numérique Premium. Access is via OxLIP+. There is no remote access.

Numérique Premium is the first French Humanities e-book collection. It contains about 1500 French-language Humanities e-books with the main focus on medieval and modern history but also including politics, history of French-speaking literature, history of cinema all accessible in a user-friendly format (currently in a beta version).

Numérique Premium

This beta version allows you to a sample of the 2014 Collections. Each collection is made of approximately 80-100 titles and is updated annually.

Please send feedback to or or leave comments on the History databases desiderata & trials site.

New: ARTFL – French texts online

Cherchez-vous les sources littéraires et historiques? Voici une solution.

Oxford users have access ARTFL is an indispensable collection of electronic resources for researchers in French Language and Literature, spanning medieval to 19th century, which are also useful for historians. It includes some Italian texts too.

Here is the content:ARTFL

  • FRANTEXT: comprising 3,558 French texts from the 12th to the 20th centuries
  • French Women Writers, over 100 works by French women authors from the 16th to the 19th century.
  • Provençal Poetry, 38 collections of texts from the 12th and 13th centuries.
  • Textes de Français Ancien (TFA), 103 works from the 12th through 15th century.
  • The Journal de Trévoux, ou Mémoires pour l’Histoire des Sciences & des Beaux-Arts. 109 volumes, 1751-1758.
  • Pierre Bayle, Dictionnaire historique et critique (5th Edition, 1740).
  • Louis Moréri, Le Grand dictionnaire historique, ou le Mélange curieux de l’Histoire sacrée et profane, etc. (1759).
  • Opera del Vocabolario Italiano (OVI) Database, 1,960 vernacular texts dated prior to 1375, including Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio
  • many lesser-known texts

Searching is a little basic so do make use of the index search options. Access is via SOLO or OxLIP+.

Looking for more French texts online? Oxford users have access to the following:

Corpus de Littérature Médiévale des origines a la fin du 15e siècle

Dictionnaires des XVIe et XVIIe siècles

Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire Raisonné des Sciences, des Arts et des Métiers, L’

Géographies du Monde, Les

Textes de la Renaissance

Bibliothèque de la Renaissance

New to Oxford users: Dictionnaires des XVIe et XVIIe siècles

Following a successful trial in May, access to Dictionnaires des XVIe et XVIIe siècles has now been secured and available via OxLIP+.

It is a database of ten historical French dictionaries of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It allows you to search these dictionaries all at the same time. They include:

  • Dictionnaire françois-latin de Robert Estienne, Paris, 1549
  • Thresor de la langue françoyse, tant ancienne que moderne de Jean Nicot, Paris, 1606
  • A Dictionarie of the french and english tongues de Randle Cotgrave, London, 1611
  • Les Origines de la langue françoise de Gilles Ménage, Paris, 1650
  • Dictionnaire françois de Pierre Richelet, Genève, 1680
  • Essai d’un dictionaire universel d’Antoine Furetière, Amsterdam, 1687
  • Dictionaire universel d’Antoine Furetière, La Haye et Rotterdam, 1690
  • Dictionnaire étymologique ou Origines de la langue françoise de Gilles Ménage, Paris, 1694
  • Le Dictionnaire de l’Académie françoise dedié au Roy, Paris, 1694
  • Le Dictionnaire des Arts et des Sciences de Thomas Corneille, Paris, 1694

Lacking a French ‘OED’, it is the closest thing there is to a historical French dictionary. It is likely to be of interest to historians, social scientists as well as to linguists and literary scholars.

Related resource:

Portail lexicale – Centre National de Ressources Textuelles et Lexicales

A meta search engine for French historical dictionaries:

– Le Dictionnaire du Moyen Français
– Le Dictionnaire Électronique de Chrétien de Troyes
– La troisième édition (1552) du Dictionarium latinogallicum de Robert Estienne
– Le Thresor de la langue françoyse, tant ancienne que moderne de Jean Nicot (Paris, David Douceur, 1606)
– Le Dictionaire historique et critique de Bayle (fac-similé de la version de 1740)
– Le Dictionaire de Trévoux (imprimé à Nancy en 1740 chez Pierre Antoine)
– Le Dictionaire critique de la langue française Jean-François Féraud (1787-1788)
– Le dictionnaire de l’Académie française (var. eds)
– L’Encyclopédie de Diderot et d’Alembert

New to Oxford users: Anti-Calvin / The Huguenots

Oxford users now have access to two new resources from the Brill Primary Sources Online series. They are particularly relevant to early modern historians, theologians and historians of the Reformation. There is very good presence of digitised French texts. The images of the scans can be viewed as pdfs and printed or downloaded. Texts can also be exported as zip files.


John Calvin

This database comprises the writings of French Catholics against the doctrines of John Calvin (1509-1564) and other protestant leaders. France was a major centre in the clash between Catholics and Protestants during the sixteenth century. Much of the Protestant literature was in French in the hopes of converting the French people. In response, the Catholic Church preserved its position in France with these documents. This archive includes both sixteenth-century attacks on Calvinism and Protestantism as well as defences of the Catholic doctrine.

Anti-Calvin is now available to Oxford users.

The Huguenots

This collection offers a comprehensive survey of the original writings of the French Huguenot authors, from the first stirrings of radical dissent in the 1530s through to the end of the century. The selection privileges first and foremost original writings of authors writing within France and for an exclusively French audience. Thus whereas Calvin’s Genevan writings are not included, the tracts penned by Theodore de Bèze as part of the polemic exchange during the Colloquy of Poissy (1561) do appear here.

All told the writings collected here reveal an intellectually vibrant movement, meeting unprecedented challenges and later hardship with that mixture of confidence, aggression, and resolution in the face of adversity that characterises Calvinist churches of this era throughout Europe.

The Huguenots is now available to Oxford users.

Other related resources:

Mapping Gothic France

Mapping Gothic France homepage

Mapping Gothic France homepage

Vassar’s Andrew Tallon and Columbia’s Stephen Murray have recently unveiled their digital project to document the architectural monuments of 12-13-century France, entitled “Mapping Gothic France”.  This is an open-source, open access project available on the web at:

The site consists of hundreds of dynamic, panoramic images, mapped to each monument, and accompanied by contextual materials including historical texts, time-lines, interactive maps, and biographies of scholars.  It also contains tools for comparative study.

From the site:

“Whereas pictures can be satisfactorily represented in two dimensions on a computer screen, space — especially Gothic space — demands a different approach, one which embraces not only the architectonic volume but also time and narrative. Mapping Gothic France builds upon a theoretical framework derived from the work of Henri Lefèbvre (The Production of Space) that seeks to establish linkages between the architectural space of individual buildings, geo-political space, and the social space resulting from the interaction (collaboration and conflict) between multiple agents — builders and users. “

The site is currently in beta mode, but functioned well in Firefox when we used it.  The project uses the dimensions of space, time and narrative to structure the project.  Very detailed information pages about churches, such as the Cathedrale de Notre-Dame in Amiens, include various images, floor plans, further architectural description and information about each church’s political significance.  Not all entries have the same level of detail, some have only images and floorplans.  The comparison tool allows churches to be compared using dimensions and construction dates.  The time dimension merges the churches on the project’s map with existing maps showing contemporary geopolitical divisions.


New: Cairn Revues (Humanities and Social Science)

Oxford users now have access to CAIRN Revues (Humanities and Social Science) which the humanities and social sciences librarians have jointly signed up to.

CAIRN journal boardThe CAIRN humanities and social science journal package gives access to over 190 electronic French  journals relevant for economics, social and political sciences, history, medieval studies, literature, religion, philosophy and otherwise general interest. Coverage generally starts with 2001 issues and includes current content.

Some journals have free back issues on which then continue in CAIRN.

The history journals cover all periods:

  • Annales de Bretagne et des Pays de l’Ouest (2001-)
  • Annales de démographie historique (2001-)
  • Annales historiques de la Révolution française (1993/3-)
  • Annales. Histoire, Sciences sociales (2003/3)
  • Archives d’histoire doctrinale et littéraire du Moyen Âge (2001-)
  • Clio. Histoire, femmes et sociétés (1995-)
  • Dix-huitième siècle (2006-)
  • Dix-septième siècle (2001-)
  • Histoire & Mesure (2001-)
  • Histoire de l’éducation (2000-)
  • Médiévales (2003-)
  • Le Moyen Age  (De Boeck Université) (2001-)
  • Parlement(s). Revue d’histoire politique (2004-)
  • Revue d’histoire du XIXe siècle (1985-)
  • Revue d’histoire moderne et contemporaine (1977-)
  • Revue d’histoire urbaine (2000-)
  • Revue d’histoire des sciences (2006-)
  • Revue Française d’Histoire des Idées Politiques (2004-)
  • Revue historique (1991-)
  • Vingtième Siècle. Revue d’histoire (1990-)

There are also journals on Jewish studies, Russian and African history and more!

 Keeping up-to-date

  1. Sign up for Table of Content (ToC) email alerts for a particular journal
  2. Subscribe to an RSS feed for a subject e.g. history

Bonne chance avec vos études!

French history: special issue in honour of Robin Briggs

Oxford’s own Robin Briggs has had a special issue of the French History published in his honour. As Mr Briggs is a former Chair of the Committee of Library Provision for History, it is a pleasure for the HFL to bring this special issue to our readers’ attention.

Vol. 25 (4) Dec 2011 publishes essays from present and past students and colleagues of Robin to pay tribute to his contribution to early modern history.

The first article “Robin Briggs—Historian” by David Parrot, Mark Greengrass and Lyndal Roper charts out Robin’s career, historical interests, achievements and contribution to research, ending with a useful bibliography of his publications.

Other articles are:

Suzannah Lipscomb: Crossing boundaries: women’s gossip, insults and violence in sixteenth-century France

Jan Machielsen: Thinking with Montaigne: Evidence, scepticism and meaning in early modern demonology

Maryse Simon: Rendering justice in witch trials: the case of the val de Lièpvre

Jean-Louis Quantin: A godly Fronde? Jansenism and the mid-seventeenth-century crisis of the French monarchy

Guy Rowlands: Moving Mars: The Logistical Geography of Louis XIV’S France