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Hertford College Library: French

Information about using Hertford College Library for college members, prospective students and visitors.

How the Library can help

Simpkin the cat, ready to helpHertford Library is currently offering remote services while the library is inaccessible.

Want to ask for help finding a specific resources or searching more generally?  

One-to-one support is available:

  • by email to 
  • through voice and video calls on Microsoft Teams/Zoom/Facebook
  • old fashioned phone (leave a message with your name and number on 01865 279409 and we'll get back to you)

Need a book and can't find it online?

We're buying access to new ebooks on request and, in some cases, can buy print books and have them delivered directly to you. We may also be able to arrange a scan of a specific chapter and postal loans of books from the Library. You can request these services using our online request form.

Have a reading list to share?

If you have a reading list for the coming term please share it with us. We'd love to know what you need so we can help you get it! Please send any lists to

Online resources on SOLO

SOLO logoEbooks are being bought and added to SOLO daily.

To search exclusively for ebooks that are available to access from home, see our guide on limiting searches to accessible ebooks.

University members also have access to some other ebook sources that are not included in SOLO, details of these are listed below.

SOLO for French

You can request new ebooks for purchase by filling in the books request form for the Bodleian Libraries or contacting Hertford Library on

Online databases for French

Screenshot of Modern Languages on Databases A-ZYou can browse for Oxford online database subscriptions on Databases A-Z. These include primary sources like the Frantext, reference resources like the Archives Biographiques Francaises and bibliographical databases.

Bibliographical databases allow you to search for resources on a specific subject across different formats such as books, book chapters, journal articles, conference proceedings and theses. An examples of a bibliographical database is the MLA International Bibliography.

To browse articles from Le Monde, see our PDF guide to using Nexis. For information about access to range of newspapers see the French newspaper guide from the Bodleian. Access to many of these papers is via Nexis (see our PDF guide to browsing papers in Nexis) or Factiva (see our PDF guide to browsing papers in Factiva).

Free ebooks on the open web

A number of French book shops are currently offering free ebooks via their websites:

FNAC - currently has 500 free ebooks

Furet du Nord - 5000+ free ebooks

Cultura - 3000 free ebooks

Suggestions for BDs - an article in Le Monde summarises various free online BDs

L'Institut Francais has free online books via its Culturetheque (register for free to access)

Search across a number of free ebook suppliers (including Gallica and some smaller sites) at 


Internet Archive

ThInternet Archive homepage screenshote Internet Archive has freely available online books that are out of copyright.  This means older editions of literary texts are often available there.

The Internet Archive has also made a number of 20th century academic books available to borrow through their Lending Library. To use this service you need to set up a free user account. These books are still in copyright so the authors may request that they are removed from the website.  If you find a useful resources in the Lending Library then use them quickly and take very detailed notes - you might not be able to access them again in a few weeks.

French links

General links