French Language and Literature

Resources, both online and elsewhere, for the French language and literature.

Use all of these Strategies

  • Books, articles, reference sources, stuff on the web - it's all good.
  • Read on to learn more about solid literary research.

Find Books on Authors

Find Articles on Authors

  • The MLA International Bibliography is your best database.
    • Authors' names are Subjects, or Descriptors, in this database.
    • The MLA International Bibliography is particular about how you enter the name though.
      • Last name, first name is best. Otherwise you may retrieve nothing.
      • You can also put last name in one box and 1st name in another.
  • There are other databases you can try too. Use an author's name as your search.

Search these reference collections


  • For many authors there will be a volume in Cambridge Companions. Or cross search the entire archive.
  • Oxford Scholarship Online is another cross-searchable database.
  • LION has good basic information on writers.
    • The e-texts portion of LION is English-language works.
    • But the criticism and reference components treat writers of many nationalities.
  • Artemis Literary Sources (Gale) also has good basic information on writers.
    • It will give overviews of works and critical articles on writers.
  • Search the library catalog for handbooks (sometimes called an Encyclopedia, or Dictionary).
  • Another possibility is the MLA series "Approaches to teaching".

Web sites

  • There are many good Web sites on individual authors.
    • A Google search should bring them up.
    • Typically, they have good bibliographies of primary, and sometimes secondary, works.
    • They also have biographical information.
  • Wikipedia usually has good introductory articles on writers, often with good references and links.