skip to content

History and geography

One of the key subject areas is 18th and 19th century French history, especially the French Revolution. There are also important items about the First and Second World War as well as the history of religion.

The geographical coverage of the collections is very wide. There is French language material covering the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg, as well as Russia, Poland, Austria and the United States. The collections also cover former French colonies such as French Canada, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Indo-China, Syria, Haiti, Madagascar and French-speaking Africa, as well as overseas territories such as Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion, Guiana and the French Polynesia.


Les amours pastorales de Daphnis et de Chloé : par Longus. Mise en paralelle, et ornées des estampes originales du fameux B. Audran ...
Paris : Imprimeées pour les curieux, 1757.


There is extensive coverage of French philosophy and modern French literature, including works by and about authors of established reputation, as well as authors of emerging importance. Francophone literature originates from Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, North Africa and other parts of the former French colonial empire. As a consequence, the collections include authors such as Michel Tremblay, Gabrielle Roy, Nancy Huston, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Sony Lab'Ou Tansi, Assia Djebar, Mohammed Dib, Patrick Chamoiseau, Raphael Confiant, Edouard Glissant, and Aimé Césaire


There are extensive works on the history, grammar and sociolinguistics of the Romance languages. The Library is keen to acquire material relating to contemporary scholarly debates, such as the usage and influence of dialects.

Social and political sciences

The collections cover a wide range of social and economic topics such as economics, public administration, education and social welfare, as well as contemporary social and economic issues. There are books by established authors such as Claude Lévi-Strauss, Pierre Bourdieu, Raymond Aron, Emile Durkheim and Auguste Comte.

Fine arts

The collections contain scholarly works on the theory and philosophy of art, art history and biography, as well as catalogues of recent exhibitions held in France. The Renaissance in France is a subject of particular interest. There are also works on the performing arts, especially a new emphasis on cinema studies reflecting the University's teaching and research interest in this subject.

To obtain a detailed insight into Cambridge University Library's acquisition policy, please consult the Library's Collection Development policy.