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Introduction: read this first
In this session, you are going to explore a selection of information resources from the Library and beyond which will be useful for your studies. Working on your own or with a partner, do the Library Search activity first.
After a short feedback session, you will be asked to choose any other boxes and follow the instructions in the task. Try and work through two or more boxes and be prepared to share your feedback at the end.
Library Search: getting the most out of it
Library Search is the Library's catalogue, and is your starting point for finding our books, DVDs, journals and other materials, whether print or online. It also enables you to manage your Library account.
It's not difficult to use, but there are a few simple techniques to ensure you get the best out of it.
Try the following:
- Search Library Search to find books about one of the following topics:
- French Revolution
- Popular Front
- Vichy regime
- What happens if you put your search term in inverted commas " "? Why is it a good idea to do this when searching for a phrase?
- Now try narrowing down your search to find books which focus on a particular aspect of your topic (e.g. Robespierre, Blum, Pétain)
- Add some of the books to your favourites (tip: you need to log in to do this, and click on the icon)
- When looking at the catalogue details for a print book, click on Browse the shelf to see what's next to that book on the shelf
- Now broaden your search to find journal articles on this topic, as well as books
- Find out how you could set up a search alert so you receive automatic emails every time the Library acquires a new book or article which matches this search (hint: click Save query)
- Finally, find an ebook about any aspect of contemporary France, and view it on screen
Audio-visual material can be very useful when studying history, politics and society. Search the sites below to find images relating to a French topic of your choice. Think about the following issues:
The range of images available (e.g. format, subject coverage)
What information is provided about the images you find? (e.g. date, provenance, location).
Could you reproduce the images you have found in an assignment if you wanted to?
Ease of searching - for example, were you able to pinpoint your search to find highly relevant images?
Bridgeman Education (images)
This database provides access to over two million images, including paintings, posters, artefacts and photographs, from galleries and collections worldwide. All images are copyright-cleared for educational use, and cover a wide range of themes.
Flickr the Commons
Project to make photographs available online from the archives of cultural institutions around the world.
Getty, the world's largest photography service, has recently announced it is making most of its collections (35 million photos) available free for non-commercial reuse online and on social media sites, as long as users use Getty's embedding tool, which will insert automatic image credits. Find out more
about the background to the decision.
Film, Video and Audio
Explore the sites below to find documentaries or news footage relating to a French historical, social or political topic of your choice. Think about the following issues:
The range of material available
What information is provided about the videos you find? (e.g. date, provenance, location)
Could you use the footage in an assignment if you wanted to?
What are the relative advantages and disadvantages for a student when using audio-visual, rather than written sources?
Box of Broadcasts
Box of Broadcasts can be used to access TV and radio broadcasts from over 65 channels, including most of the UK’s freeview network, all BBC TV and radio content from 2007, and several foreign language channels. You can view archived programmes, record new ones, create clips and playlists and see transcripts to help with citation and translation. You can also search for other user’s public playlists to help you in your own search. This resource is not available outside the UK.
Free online access to video, stills and audio from selected European broadcasters from 1900-present. Includes French, German and Catalan broadcasters amongst others. EUscreen brings together clips that provide an insight into the social, cultural, political and economic events that have shaped the 20th and 21st centuries. The portal also allows you to explore television programmes that focus on everyday experience.
Library subject guides
Library Search is a great starting point for finding library materials for your module, but you should also get into the habit of using our Library subject guides. These are packed full of specialised resources, news and advice related to your subject area. Explore your library subject guide and see if you can do the following:
- Look up a word in an online bilingual dictionary
- Search a French library catalogue
- Find digitised archival material (e.g. a photograph, document, poster or letter) relating to a French historical topic of your choice
- Get the latest news about the Library via our online newsletter and blog
You're bound to have questions at some stage when using the Library. Fortunately, there are various ways in which you can get help. Start from the Library's home page to find the following:
- Use Library Help to find out if you can download from an ebook
- Browse our Facebook site to find our about our new Be Well@NCL collection.
- Find a Twitter account which will keep you up to date with the latest news about arts and humanities resources in the Library
- Browse through our academic skills guide to get help with finding and managing information (hint: click Subject Support)
- Watch a useful video on our YouTube channel
Explore the sites below to find newspaper articles relating to a French historical topic of your choice.
Nexis® - international and business news
Nexis allows you to search across major international newspapers, business and industry trade magazines, business news, company information, press agencies and magazines from 1980s/1990s to present day, in various languages. Choose to search 'News' once logged in; the News search form will enable you to build searches using terms, topics, sources, dates or a combination making your research much easier and more efficient.
Times Digital Archive 1785-2014
This contains full facsimile images of articles and pages. The entire newspaper is captured, including articles, advertisements and illustrations/photographs. The Times is also available via LEXIS from 1985 to date (text only).
You may already use social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, blogs and podcasts) for your social life, but have you ever thought whether it could help with your studies? Explore the links below and see what you think....