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French and Italian Studies
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French and Italian Studies

General Information

Sarah B. Sussman, Curator
    Green Library — HASRC, McDermott Suite
    Stanford, CA 94305-6066
    voice: (650) 723-9481
    fax: (650) 725-1068

Other staff in various programs and departments contribute to our efforts in collection development and instruction. They include Jane Vaden, the French/Italian specialist in the Acquisitions Department who orders materials selected by the curator, colleagues in both the humanities and social sciences resource groups, and counterparts in coordinate libraries.

A bit of history

French Studies Collections Highlights

(see also Collections on Special Topics, Government Documents, Publications and Collections Guides).

In French studies, the collections’ strengths may be exemplified in its holdings on the political culture of the early modern and modern periods, eighteenth-century literature and intellectual history, contemporary literature, and social history in general. The Gustave Gimon Collection on French Political Economy anchors a wide-ranging collection on this subject, with particular depth in 18th and 19th century materials. Some individual collections are described separately; others may be seen through SOCRATES headings or through consultation with the curator. Significant large microfilm collections include the French Revolution Research Collection and its videodisk of images, the documents on Jansenism from the library of Port-Royal, and the French sections of the Goldsmiths’-Kress Library collections; smaller collections cover French theater, woman’s studies, economic history, the Dreyfus affair, and French Protestantism. Other resources include a sizable collection of both classic and current French films, historical maps of France and of its colonies, and a large number of historical, current academic and popular journals. Stanford Libraries also subscribe to a growing number of digital text collections, such as ARTFL and the Voltaire électronique.

In recent years we have acquired smaller but defined sets of material of interest to particular academic programs, such as a range of popular literature of both the early modern and modern period (from the Bibliothèque bleue to the historical novel of the 20th century), French Situationism, feminism, and a variety of early dictionaries and reference works that were instrumental in the diffusion of learning. Reflecting research trends, efforts are underway to enhance our holdings in the literature and history the Maghreb, Francophone Africa, and the Caribbean, as well as on migrants from former French colonies to the metropole. To meet increased demands for resources, the library has acquired a significant block of films on Africa and a large set of novels, political studies, and travelers’ books, as well as a collection of postcards sent by French travelers in Africa from 1900-1920.

Italian Studies Collections Highlights

Italian studies collections emphasize the Medieval and Renaissance periods and contemporary civilization, with a growing interest in the early 20th century and a major focus on Futurism. As programs change, the collections are also expanding in the Italian baroque, history of science, Vico studies, Italian Romanticism and in the later periods of unification. The history of early modern Italy has been a major collecting area in recent years, and includes several small manuscript collections focusing on banking, family history, and women in religious orders, as well as a collection of 16th-and 17th-century funeral orations and a set of data tapes on 15th-century Florentine catasti.
In contemporary Italian studies, the library’s strengths are concentrated in poetry, the novel, film, and women’s studies, with a focus on links between literature, politics, and society. Recent acquisitions include a representative range of material on technical change and on the life and work of F.T. Marinetti. Women’s studies collections have grown through acquisition of journal backfiles, such as NoiDonne, contemporary memoirs, and a small but significant archive on the writer Dacia Maraini, with material on the context for both her writing and political activism.

Last modified: March 11, 2009

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