Internet sites for France and French studies

Many French resources are freely available on the Web and some selected sites are listed below.
Further links are available via the French Online Resource wiki

1. General resources on France and French studies
2. Literature and theatre
3. Politics and social issues
4. Media
5. Business
6. French language
7. Visiting France
8. Libraries
9. Search engines
10. Statistics

1. General resources on France and French studies

CIA World Factbook key statistics on French geography, people, government, economy, transport, communication and defence.
Discover France general interest site with links to business and finance, newspapers and magazines, art, culture, sport, travel etc.
France Pratique Link provider to sources of information on modern France, literature, culture and society.
Info-France USA Developed by the French embassy in Washington, gives access to government, political parties, education, regions, European Union.
Best French Websites and French Home Page both contain a huge number of links to useful sites on the French language and culture. Both sites are maintained by Jim Becker, Professor Emeritus of the University of Northern Iowa.

2.Literature and theatre

  • ABU: Association des Bibliophiles Universels A collection of French-language electronic texts.
  • CESAR : calendrier électronique des spectacles sous l'ancien régime et sous la révolution is a freely available online database of information about French theatre. It covers plays, people, productions and performance spaces - between 1600 and 1800, encompassing drama, opera, ballet and incidental theatre. The site also includes a collection of full-text secondary sources on theatre topics.
    The CESAR project has strong links with Oxford Brookes:
  • Electronic texts collections in Western European literature a gateway to literary, historical, and social science texts online in French and other languages.
  • Gallica at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France is a digital anthology covering many subjects including literature, history, science, philosophy, law, economics and political sciences. It provides free online access to 70,000 digitised works selected from the digital library of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, including an extensive collection of French texts by writers such as Proust, Balzac, Diderot, Corneille. There are also over 80,000 images and a huge collection of sound resources. The website has links to related Gallica projects, including: "Trésors et raretés: une Anthologie virtuelle des collections", "Gallica Classique", "le dossier Proust", "Découvrez la France í travers les récits des voyageurs", and others.
  • Labyrinthe is a gateway to online resources for the study of contemporary French literature.
  • Magazine littéraire is a French literary and cultural journal. The web site offers a summary of each of the magazine's issues from 1997, with tables of contents available for issues from 1966 onwards. As well as essays on French literature and culture, the magazine publishes extended 'dossiers' on particular themes and the work of individual figures. An extensive archive of full-text esssays is available on the site, covering Derrida, Robbe-Grillet, Apollinaire, Diderot, Balzac, Baudelaire and many other writers. Note that the library does not have a subscription to the full-text of this journal.
  • Molière This website features a wealth of resources on the 17th Century French playwright, actor and director. These include: a detailed chronology of Molière's life; the full text of his complete works accompanied by introductory notes and details of the first performance of each play; a 'dictionary' of Molière's vocabulary and terminology; a collection of images; a bibliography of secondary material on Molière; and a filmography of adaptations of Molière's plays.
  • Project Gutenberg is the Internet's oldest producer of free electronic books (eBooks or etexts). The collection provides access to more than 10,000 eBooks, most of which are older literary works. All may be freely downloaded and read, and redistributed for non-commercial use.
  • Rare Books Exhibition on French Theatre this web site illustrates an exhibition of rare books related to French theatre from Monash University (Australia) Rare Book Collection. It includes the text of the catalog and links to images from selected works by Molière, Racine, Voltaire, Sartre, and others writers.
  • offers extensive resources on French literature. It produces a bulletin and a 'revue', which report on, for example, publications and news from the French literary world, recommended texts, and digitization projects, as well as offering critical studies and reviews. There are dossiers ( containing extracts, interviews, links to articles and studies, reviews etc.) on a huge selection of French writers and a section on contemporary French theatre. The site also acts as a gateway to other websites on French literature.
  • The Rousseau Association produces a website on the life and works of the 18th Century French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Amongst the resources available through the site are biographical details and some full-text editions of his works.
  • Rousseau Studies another website devoted to Rousseau, this time produced by an international group of researchers (some based at the Sorbonne in Paris) who aim to promote and disseminate study into his work. Includes bibliographies and some full-text editions of his works.
  • Site-Molière is another excellent website devoted to the 17th Century French playwright, actor and director. It features biographical details, a concordance of his works, information on Molière's troupe and about contemporaries such as Racine.
  • Théâtrales provides a wealth of online resources for the study of the theatre in general, with particular emphasis on the history of French theatre. Information about the theatre includes an extensive general bibliography for theatre studies, a glossary of theatrical terminology and a chronology of the development of the theatre. Resources on French theatre include detailed chronologies of performances in the 17th and 18th centuries, links to a selection of digital texts, amongst them works by Corneille, Racine and Molière, and links to bibliographic references and textual commentaries.

3. Politics and social issues

Below are links to selected French government departments. For further links consult the Service-Public Portal which is the official gateway to the French civil service:

Political Resources on the Net gives links to French government departments and political parties.
Le Conseil d'Etat
Centre d'Etude de la Vie Politique Francaise
French National Council for Statistical Information (CNIS)
National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) This body is responsible for conducting France's population census.
Legifrance is the French governmental portal for law-related information.

Public opinion surveys on a wide variety of economic, political and social issues can be found on the web sites of three French polling organizations:

4. Media

Le Monde Web site for the French newspaper.
Radio France
Kidon media-link provides links for newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and news agencies around the world.
L'Agence France Presse French newswire

Web sites for newspapers and current affairs magazines may offer current news, but older articles are often only available to subscribers. Don't forget that Brookes staff and students also have access to French titles such as L´Entreprise, L'Expansion, L´Express, L'Humanité, L'Indépendant, Libération, Le Point, Le Temps, La Tribune and many others via the Factiva database. Connect to this via Electronic newspapers and magazines for Languages

5. Business

Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Paris
The following sites are all searchable directories of French businesses:

  • provides free information about French business.
  • ABC France is a database of more than 150 000 French companies.

6. French language

Many free internet sites are available to help with language learning. A selection is listed below. Don't forget that Brookes staff and students also have access to subscription services such as Oxford language dictionaries online. Connect to these via our list of Electronic dictionaries and language databases

ARTFL Project has an online French-English dictionary.
ClicNet dictionnaires gives access to various online dictionaries.
For links to general language-related sites see the Library guide Language studies and linguistics on the internet

7. Visting France

Monetos is an international, free-of-charge research portal which provides advice on the key aspects of studying, working and living within the EU. The Service section of the website covers issues such as European Rental Guides, Money Management for Students, Visiting a Doctor in the EU and Opening a Bank Account in the EU. Each guide offers detailed information and advice on topics such as finding accommodation and the cost of living in the EU. The website is available in six different languages including French and English.
European Tourist Information Center
Europe for Visitors
World Travel Guide: France

8. Libraries

Taylor Institution Library, University of Oxford
Maison Francaise d'Oxford
Bibliotheque nationale de France the French national library.

9. Search engines

Google France

10. Statistics

Eurostat : European Commission website providing statistical information on EU countries