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French Language & Literature collection development policy

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Program information

The French and francophone literature and linguistics collections at Penn support the French and Francophone Studies program in the Romance Languages Department, as well as programs in other departments in the humanities that draw on the French and francophone literary traditions.

The curriculum at Penn covers the full range of French literature from medieval to modern times, with faculty research addressing all major historical periods and genres. There is a strong interest in francophone literature, as well as in film, women's studies, cultural studies, theory, fields such as history and art history that bear on the study of French literature, and a burgeoning interest in digital humanities methods as they relate to French and francophone literary studies.

Guidelines for Collection Development

1. Chronological

All periods.

2. Formats

Monographs and serials, in hardcopy, electronic format, and microform. Dissertations (whether from France, the U.S., or elsewhere) are not normally acquired. The Library organizes and maintains collections of subject-based online resources useful to students and scholars. Sites devoted to French literature are included in the French Studies guide.

3. Geographical

Collections focus on publications from France, Belgium and Switzerland, and on the literary output of the Maghreb as well as French-speaking Caribbean, Africa, and Canada.

4. Language

Primarily French and scholarly books in English.

5. Publication dates

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

Principal sources of supply and major selection tools

AMALIVRE provides the Library with current imprints in French and francophone literature and criticism as well as French journals through an approval plan, which is supplemented by their bibliographic slips.

The Library acquires contemporary French Canadian fiction and poetry through a modest approval plan with Coutts.

  • Subjects collected and levels of collecting

    The Library collects heavily in French Literature (Europe) from Old French (to ca. 1500) to the 21st century, with the heaviest volume of collections in 17th- through 20th-century literature. Areas of emphasis also include French literary theory and French cultural studies, as well as other collection areas, such as the History of the French Language and French and francophone film. The Library continues to build its collections in francophone literature, from regions including North Africa, Subsaharan Africa, the French Caribbean, and French Canada.

Subjects excluded

Most popular fiction and literary works in translation.

Related subject collections