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French Microform Collections

The Microform Reading Room contains sources for the study of French modern history and modern French literature. Here are the most relevant items:

French Incunabula

  • Hellinga, Lotte (ed.). Incunabula: the printing revolution in Europe, 1455-1500: full-text incunabula on microfiche. (Rare Books Room, B119.1-78), Holdings: Unit 1-unit 71

This collection of microfiches, arranged in binders called “units”, gives access to a wide range of incunabula in different languages. French incunabula feature in thematic binders such as unit 2. The classics in translation ; unit 3. Geography and cosmography ; unit 4-5. Chronicles and historiography ; unit 6. The image of the world ; unit 11-15, 21. Medical incunabula ; unit 22-23. Rhetoric ; unit 26-28. Philosophy ; unit 29-30, 40. Schoolbooks ; unit 34-39 Law ; unit 41-44. Science ; unit 50-51. Liturgy ; unit 52-53. Current affairs ; unit 56-59, 67. Bibles and commentaries ; unit 60-62. Academic theology ; unit 63-64. Romances ; unit 65-66, 70. Printing in French.

16th century France

  • French political pamphlets, 1547-1648. Woodbridge, Conn.: Research Publications, [1980]. (Microfilm.Ser.17).

This catalogue lists over 7,600 items held in major collections in American libraries.

Records for this material are not currently available online, but catalogue cards for the individual items in the collection are located in six drawers of the card cabinet on Reading Room Corridor South.

French Revolution

  • Lucas, Colin (ed.). French Revolution research collection. Oxford ; New York: Pergamon Press, 1990. (Microfiche.Ser.8-26).

Microform reproductions of books and pamphlets issued between 1783 and 1880.

  • Hary, J., et al. (ed.). The Maclure Collection of French Revolutionary materials. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1966. 

The Maclure Collection is one of the largest collections of its kind of French Revolutionary and Napoleonic newspapers pamphlets and official publications covering the years 1789-1815. William S. Maclure (1763-1840) was a wealthy Philadelphia merchant, a radical social reformer, and our first scientific geologist. His huge collection of French Revolutionary publications is one of the greatest libraries of its kind to be formed during the period of the Revolution. Maclure bestowed the collection on the Philadelphia Academy of the Natural Sciences in 1821, and the Academy in turn gave the collection to the Historical Society of Philadelphia. In 1949 it was acquired by the University of Pennsylvania.

In two parts:

1. Catalogue and index of the collection held in the Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania. Over 20,000 listings are preceded by an introduction giving a history of the collection, a survey of other notable French Revolution collections, and a biographical essay on William S. Maclure. (Rare Books Room, B150.560.7 and online access)

2. Microfilm of Maclure’s collection, consisting of materials arranged in order by subject, about electoral, judicial, educational, and administrative topics, as well as commercial, fiscal, agricultural, colonial, and technical questions and all aspects of the revolutionary period. Many serials are included. (Microfilm.Ser.13)

Modern French literature

  • Edition Corvey [a collection of rare books held at the Castle Corvey Library, located in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany], Wildberg: Belser Wissenschaftlicher Dienst, 1989-1990. (Microfiche.Ser.29).

The library of Corvey Castel is one of the largest private book collections of 18th and 19th century literary works in Europe. This collection contains 3,658 titles in French, including many single works and complete editions dating from the 18th century and a number of novels published in the second half of the 19th century. It offers an extensive source of research material for literary historians, especially those interested in studies of women's literature.

The microfiches are sorted and can be retrieved by their individual ISBN numbers which are listed in the print catalogue.

Edition Corvey: short title catalogue, French Language titles (Wildberg: Belser Wissenschaftlicher Dienst, 1996) is an alphabetical bibliography of French authors and works available in the Corvey collections. This guide is kept in the Cambridge University Library, Collections and Academic Liaison department, in South Wing 1.

Find out more about the Microform Reading Room.