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French Language & Literature Library Guide: Home

Where Are Your Books?

French language and grammar Books are kept on the Upper Level, Undergraduate Wing - the level above the main entrance. 

Their shelf numbers are:

440 French Language

441 Written and spoken French

443 French dictionaries

443.3 French bilingual dictionaries

445 French Grammar 

French literature books are kept on the Lower Level of the library, down the spiral staircase near the Information Desk.

Their shelf numbers are:

840 French Literature

841 French Poetry

842 French Drama

843 French Fiction 

French history and culture books are kept on Level 6 of the library, two flights up the main staircase. 

Their shelf numbers are:

901 French Civilization

944 French History 

 Important note about electronic vs. print books

While the Library still maintains strong print collections, it is important to note that many of our newest books are available only in electronic rather than print versions. This is especially so in the Social Sciences but can also be true of some critical or highly-used works in the Arts and Literature subjects.

It is therefore essential to use the library catalogue, Primo, which has hotlinks to the electronic books, since browsing the physical collection alone will cause you to miss the up-to-date, new material added to the Library holdings over the last few years.

 

 

Databases for French Language & Literature

Databases

Many of our journals can also be found full text in electronic format on our databases. These databases contain thousands of journals, all searchable by keywords, like chunk of google.

Most of the journals are full text nowadays. In some cases, though, the databases may just give a reference to the journal article, rather than the whole thing. This will tell you which year and volume and pages of a particular print journal to look at to find the article.

You can get to our databases from www.lib.uct.ac.za and mousing over Search & Find and select Databases.

Below are some databases which will be helpful for French Language and Literature

MLA International Bibliography - via EBSCOhost The MLA International Bibliography, produced by the Modern Language Association of America, consists of bibliographic records pertaining to literature, language, linguistics, and folklore and includes coverage from 1926 to the present. The MLA International Bibliography provides access to scholarly research in nearly 4,000 journals and series. It also covers relevant monographs, working papers, proceedings, bibliographies, and other formats.

ProQuest Education Journals Offering complete information on hundreds of educational topics, this database covers almost 400 leading journals in the field.

Teacher Reference Center Teacher Reference Center provides indexing and abstracts for 280 of the most popular teacher and administrator journals and magazines to assist professional educators.

 Academic Search Premier - via EBSCOhost (Full Text) Provides journal coverage for most academic areas of study—including biological sciences, economics, communications, computer sciences, engineering, language and linguistics, arts and literature, medical sciences and women's studies.

 ScienceDirect (Full Text) ScienceDirect offers access to the Elsevier Science journal collection (over 1,200 titles The full text collection of over 1 million articles from 1995 to present covers a wide variety of subject areas and disciplines in the sciences and social sciences. It has strong holdings on linguistics.

 

 Useful databases for literature and Culture 

MLA International Bibliography - via EBSCOhost This is a very scholarly database, produced by the Modern Language association of America, and consists of abstracts for literature, language, linguistics, and folklore, with some full text. It holds abstracts for nearly 4,000 journals and books, in some cases back to 1963. It indexes French language sources as well as English. Some material may be full text. 

Academic Search Premier - via EBSCOhost (Full Text)This is a very popular undergraduate database at UCT. It contains a lot of full text covering most academic areas of study, including language and linguistics, arts and literature. You can weed out “newsy” material and restrict your search only to scholarly journals by ticking the “Peer reviewed” button on this database.  

Academic OneFile  This too is a very popular undergraduate database, containing a lot of full text on a wide range of topics, including current events, literature and art. 

Humanities International Complete – via EBSCOhost  This is a scholarly and wide-ranging database with good full text.  Subjects covered include Film, Linguistics, Literary & Social Criticism, Literature, Performing Arts, and Philosophy. It covers only articles from English-language periodicals. 

 

THE BASICS OF SURVIVAL

PRIMO: the Basics of Survival on the UCT Catalogue

 

PRIMO is a tool for searching across the UCT library book catalogue as well as a selection of our databases of full text journal articles, all with one query.

You can find it on the library homepage at www.lib.uct.ac.za

In this example we going to do a search in the Sociology of Literature – (the study of literature as a reflection of its society), and a very nice topic for bridging both the Arts and the Social Sciences it is too.

We are going to look for a particular author – Nontsizi Mgqwetho.

This quick search brings up the copies that we have of her work, as well as books and articles about her work. 

 

Clicking on the TITLE of the top record takes me to the records for the printed books and gives me the shelf number so I can find them on the shelves: It says the book is available at the African Studies Library and other locations.

The African Studies Library is a research and archive collection, which collects and preserves books in stock for the generations yet to come and attracts researchers from around the world. In consequence the African Studies collection books can only be read in that library and may not be borrowed. 

The Main Library copy is the one that can be borrowed, but you have to get into the full record to finds its specific shelf number.

 

The shelf number works like a street address – just follow the numbers up or down until you get to the address you want.  Shelf numbers keep related books together, so once you have found your book, it is often useful to browse the books on either side of it as well.

In fact, you don’t even have to physically be in the library to do it… If you again click on the title of one of the results, you will be taken to the full record for the book – which has a virtual browse option – so you can see all its neighbouring books…. You never know what you will discover that way.

 

By clicking on the blue subject headings in the record you can also call up similar books which share that subject heading.

 

 

On the search screen you can use a drop-down arrow to search only for electronic journal articles or electronic books or reference works.

 

 

In this example, restricting the search to Articles & other Electronic Resources, the top results are for electronic journal articles…

 

 

And further down we have an electronic encyclopaedia entry for her, also available online.

 

 

If I click on the title I will be taken to a full record for the article or electronic book, and a link to the database on which it lives:

 

 

And so to download the article:

 

 

The record also shows me how to cite the book or article – which I will need to do if I am going to use it in an essay:

 

 

Or, even better, it allows me to send the record to a program like RefWorks or Endnote, which does my citing for me, automatically, at the touch of a button….

 

 

 

The left-hand side of the screen has all sorts of options for refining or restricting your results:

 

The most useful are probably Peer-reviewed Journals (the most respectable journals, I which every article is vetted by other academics), Subject or Resource type:

If you are getting too many results – and PRIMO can bring up a lot of results – you can use an Advanced Search to search more precisely:

 

And if you are looking for a very specific book, journal or article – for example from a reading list - PRIMO has a Find By Citation form which can help you find exactly that reference. I’ll use a good social science example here:

 

Just put in as much information as you have on the reference:

Shaffer, P., 1998. Gender, poverty and deprivation: evidence from the Republic of Guinea. World Development, 26(12), pp.2119-2135.

And this will bring it up in both print and electronic versions:

And clicking on the full text or database link will take you to it.

 

A digression into Boolean Searching

 

It is possible to create very precise searches just using keywords.

The trick is to combine them with Boolean Operators, wildcards and brackets. Most of our databases, including our library catalogue, take Boolean operators.

Consider this search string:

(child* OR wom?n OR gender) AND poverty AND Africa* NOT “African American”

The * is a wildcard – it calls up anything that follows the root “child” – so it will being up child and children or childhood……

The ? is a mid-word wildcard – calls up women and woman…

The OR expands you options – women or gender must come up in the results, it doesn’t matter which….

The (brackets) keep the OR words together and relate them to the AND which follows – otherwise the search would call up anything to do with women, regardless of whether it had to do with poverty and Africa….

Any words linked with AND must be included in the search results - OR broadens a search, AND tightens it.

NOT excludes a term. Be careful of this. First search without it, to get an idea of what you are missing.

“Inverted commas” enclose a precise phrase.

 

To use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) in PRIMO, you must enter them in CAPITAL LETTERS, otherwise PRIMO ignores them.

 

Don’t forget that you can restrict the search to electronic journal articles or electronic books only, using the drop-down arrow – useful if you are off-campus.

 

GALLICA

http://gallica.bnf.fr/

Gallica is the digital library of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BnF), open to the general public around the world since 1997.

It serves as a digital encyclopedia and consists of: printed materials (books, journals, newspapers, printed music, and other documents), graphic materials (engravings, maps, photographs, and others), and sound recordings.

Gallica makes it possible to find sources that are rare, unusual, out-of-print, or difficult, if not impossible, to access. These materials are royalty-free when used strictly for private purposes.