Access to the College Green area of campus will be restricted until further notice. Current students, faculty, and staff with a valid Penn card may enter and exit Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center through the Rosengarten Undergraduate Study Center on the ground floor, and may enter and exit the Fisher Fine Arts Library through the 34th Street entrance to Meyerson Hall. See our Service Alerts for details.

Accordion List

The French and francophone library collections at Penn support the French and Francophone Studies program, which is part of the French and Francophone, Italian, and Germanic Studies (FIGS) Department in the School of Arts & Sciences, as well as other humanities programs that draw on French literary and cultural traditions. 

The program offers undergraduate major and minor degrees and a five-year doctoral curriculum. Faculty expertise covers the full range of French literature from medieval to modern times, as well as popular culture, film, cultural history, travel writing, gender and postcolonial studies, musicology, anthropology, religious writing, art history, and philosophy.

1. Chronological 

All periods.

2. Formats 

Books, serials, and videos account for most of the material acquired. Streaming video is acquired when possible for instructional purposes. Most books come in paper format, and paper is preferred for literary works. The Penn Libraries acquires works of history and criticism in electronic format, when available and depending, to some extent, on cost. Microform is acquired when necessary. Dissertations (whether from France, the U.S., or elsewhere) are not normally acquired. The Libraries provides links to sites devoted to French literature, which are included in the French Studies guide. Data sets such as textual corpora may be acquired as the need and availability warrants.

3. Geographical 

Collections focus on publications from all parts of the francophone world, including France, Belgium, Switzerland, Africa, Canada, and the Caribbean. 

4. Language 

Primarily French, and translations of French literature in English. Scholarly books are acquired in both French and English, and, in some cases, in other western languages. We strive to acquire videos in French with English subtitles. 

5. Publication dates 

Emphasis on current materials, with selective retrospective purchasing as required. 

6. Open Access 

Products that lead to open access publications and resources receive priority. Proprietary resources in which we would not normally invest receive greater consideration if they support a competitive market with varied publishing models. 

Paris-based bookseller Amalivre provides the Libraries with current imprints in French and francophone literature and criticism through an approval plan, as well as French journals. The Libraries also uses regional vendors for Canadian books, and makes individual purchases with various vendors, including Italy-based Casalini and U.S.-based Barlovento (for works from the French Caribbean). The Libraries' primary English-language approval plan vendor supplies the majority of works in English on French literature and other subjects, as well as translations of French literature. Other vendor catalogs, faculty and student requests, and WorldCat searches provide additional information. Film is not collected through an approval plan, and depends largely on recommendations, vendor emails, and bibliographer research.

The Libraries collects heavily in all periods of French literature (Europe) from Old French (to ca. 1500) to the 21st century. In recent years we have collected film and non-European literature at the same high level, and have undertaken retrospective purchases in those areas. Our Amalivre approval plan emphasizes new francophone authors from the Caribbean as well as Africa.

Literary works translated from other languages. Popular literature and film are collected selectively.