The French collection serves the needs of faculty and students in the Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies as well as a number of other departments across campus such as Education, Classics, Comparative Literature and History. The Library supports teaching and research in French language, linguistics, literature, and history of francophone civilization for programs leading to the degrees of Ph.D., M.A., B.A., and the Diploma in Translation. The collection also provides for users who may seek information for studies in general history, history of science and technology, music, fine arts, where Francophone culture plays an important role.

Current areas of collecting

The French selector covers French language and literature, French culture, French linguistics, and material on translation. Special emphasis is on the history of the French language, Romance philology and linguistics, translation theory and applied translation. Relating to French literature, special emphasis is on literary history, literary criticism from the historical, semiotic, ideological, deconstructionist, psychoanalytic (Freudian, Jungian and Lacanian), structuralist and post-structuralist points of view, gender studies, and lesbian and gay studies.


Indexes and abstracts, bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopaedias, handbooks, literature, non-fiction monographs, and serials.

Publication date

Retrospective buying is made on the request of the faculty in consultation with the reference specialist and/or bibliographer.


Mainly French; Italian, Spanish and German for comparative Romance languages and literature; English translations of primary sources, and secondary sources translated or originally published in English.

Geographic origin

Predominantly publications form France, Belgium, Switzerland, French speaking Canada and Luxembourg; French and some English and German language publishing from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the U.S.A., Great Britain, and the Scandinavian countries; to a lesser extent, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, French speaking Sub-Saharan Africa, Caribbean, and French Islands of the Pacific.


Primary and secondary sources of lesser known and beginning authors, biographies, Festschriften, dissertations, textbooks, literary magazines, and proceedings of congresses and conferences are very selectively acquired.

Collections in other UBC Libraries/ Areas of overlap

Education Library: Methodological and classroom oriented studies at elementary and secondary levels, and children’s literature in French to support French, bilingual and immersion programs.