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French and Francophone Studies

Guide to Resources in French & Francophone Literature and History

French & Francophone Collections

Collecting research materials from and about Europe in all European languages has long been a high priority at both Duke University Libraries and at the University Library at UNC Chapel Hill. The European collections support vibrant programs in all disciplines, including business and economics, cultural and visual studies, history of science and medicine, history, literary study, music, philosophy, political science, public policy, and religion. In addition to supporting individual academic departments, the European Collections are also part of the life of two European Studies Centers (UNC is a Title VI Center), two Medieval and Renaissance Centers, the National Humanities Center, and two other TRLN (Triangle Research Libraries Network) institutions: North Carolina Central University (an HBCU), and North Carolina State University.

The European Studies resources in the Humanities and Social Sciences provide a rich context for research and teaching. The Duke and UNC Libraries subscribe to thousands of periodicals, annuals, and irregular series from and about Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, France, Italy, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. In addition, the libraries hold many complete runs of historic serial titles. The collections include films and videos from and about Europe, and several large microform sets covering European topics, especially on Great Britain and Germany, as well as large biographical archives and US government archival collections on European countries. New collection development efforts important for European Studies include Linguistics, Film and Visual Studies, Jewish Studies, Islamic Studies, Minority Literatures in Europe, and expanded coverage of contemporary authors, especially for France, Germany, and Italy. The Duke Libraries are a depository for documents published by the European Union, and Duke and UNC Libraries collect government documents and statistics from individual European countries, as well as publications by many international organizations (ILO, OECD, and more).

Duke and UNC Libraries have well-funded approval plans for humanities collections in general, and for European as well as Medieval Studies in particular. Over the past three years the UNC library has received substantial Mellon funding to enhance the already strong collections in the History of Medicine, British History, and Medieval Women. Duke Libraries have benefited from a special Duke Provost fund used to acquire historic electronic journal back files and digital libraries of primary documents.

The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library ( houses unique resources of importance to European Studies. Latin manuscripts from France, divinity subject like hymnology and reformation materials, emblem books, political pamphlets from 1650-1700, materials in travel and colonialism, French in the Americas, French political caricature serials, esp. 1850-1940, comics, and last but not least, the Gustave Lanson library. The neighboring UNC Rare Books Collection is also strong in French materials. 

Creator: Heidi Madden, PhD MLS

  • Upkeep and Revisions: Mbenoye Diagne, 2016
  • Upkeep and Revisions: Rachel James, Trinity 2014

2012 Exhibit at Duke

Comics and Propaganda : France 1939-1944

La Bande Dessinée et la Propagande France: 1939-1944

An exhibit designed by students in the course "Comics and Culture: Images of Modern France in the Making," Professor Clare Tufts,  (French 414 and Visual and Media Studies 312). the course is taught every year.