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French Literature, Language, and Culture: Books

Use this guide as a starting point for your research.

Finding fiction in French

There is no "fiction" section in the AU Library.  We catalog fiction according to the  Library of Congress call number system. Using the LC system, fiction is shelved according to the author's country of origin and time period. Literary criticism, interpretations, and translations are shelved together with the fiction of that author. You'll find French literature in these call number ranges: 

French- PQ 2660-3807  

Literature written in French outside of France - PQ 3809-3999 

To find literature written in French, search the library catalog by author, title or keyword.  After you have a list of results, click the Modify Search button at the top of the page, and limit the language to French.

Library Catalogs

Ashland University Library Catalog

AU Library Catalog:

OhioLINK Catalog

OhioLINK Catalog:
About OhioLINK:
  • OhioLINK is a consortium of 90 Ohio  academic libraries.  
  • You may request that books be sent to or you may return to any OhioLINK library near your location.
  • Your library record, including OhioLINK loans, are maintained by the AU Library. Link to My Account on Library home page. View or renew there.
  •  It normally takes 3-4 days for items requested from OhioLINK to arrive at the designated pick-up location. You may return to any OhioLINK library.
  • you will be emailed when OhioLINK requests are ready for you to pick up at the library you designated
  • This service is not used to request articles. 

 Map of OhioLINK libraries


 Go to the WorldCat Catalog

Includes books and other media in US libraries.  Used only for locating, not requests. Enter your zipcode to find availability in a library near you.

Search Tips Library Catalogs & Databases

 Search Tips

Keyword Search

  •  Uses natural language. Type a word or phrase.  Use only simple words and phrases--no sentences.

  • With keyword you can search for simply france 

  • Expand your results by using OR -- (france OR french OR provence OR paris)

  • Focus your results by using AND-- french  AND identity

  • Put quotes or parentheses around phrases when you want to retrieve all of the words, in the exact order given.  Example:  " french revolution" 

  • You can use an * to retrieve multiple variants of a word with one efficient search. Example: fantast* retrieves results with fantasy, fantistic, fantastical, fantastik

  • You can also use combined searches such as  (french OR cannes) AND "motion pictures" 

  • It can be useful to start with a keyword search and use the results to identify the subject headings to use in a Subject search.

Subject Search

·     Requires specific Library of Congress (LC) Subject Headings. The words have to be typed in the exact order used by Library of Congress. You cannot use AND or OR.  

Examples of relevant Library of Congress Subject Headings  

  • French literature -- 17th century
  • French language -- Canada
  • Rabelais, François, -- ca. 1490-1553? -- Characters
  • Nothomb, Amélie -- Criticism and interpretation


Select Reference Books on Countries

Reference books are a great place to start your search.  Reference books provide an overview of a topic, typically just a few pages. If you take a few moments to skim a reference book, you'll get some great ideas on the key points on your topic that you can use for deeper research.  

Reference books are shelved on the main floor of the library.  The books must be used in the library, but because the entries are so brief, it is usually takes just a few minutes to jot down a few notes or make a list of relevant keywords.

Project Guttenberg Books in French

"Project Gutenberg offers over 45,000 free ebooks: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online.

We carry high quality ebooks: All our ebooks were previously published by bona fide publishers. We digitized and diligently proofread them with the help of thousands of volunteers."