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HIST 3347: Early Modern France, 1453-1789

Start researching France in the Middle Ages, during the Renaissance, Reformation, Counter-Reformation and Wars of Religion and more.


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Kristina Claunch
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This guide is intended to help you begin research on French history starting in the 1400s. It is meant to help give you an overview of the types of resources that can assist you in your research. It may be especially useful in HIST 3347 or other classes about this topic.

This guide is not comprehensive; it does not list all of the resources on this topic or in related disciplines owned by the Library or available on the Internet. This guide serves merely as a starting point for research.

Reference Books and More

More Books from the Main Collection (a Sampling)

Browse the Collection

An excellent way to discover additional resources is to browse for books in relevant call number ranges.

Most books concerning France and the history of France are on the 4th floor. Military specific books are usually on the 3rd floor.

Looking at the history of France, you can cross into several areas depending upon the topic.

France and Religion would likely be found in section or subclass B. 

The image below of subclass "B" is an example of the organization of information used in the Library of Congress classification system, and you can explore it in more detail at

Broad subjects within the class of call numbers starting with B


If you are looking at the general history of France, you will find it in the "D" section or area of the library.

For information on France and industry, commerce, or even social history, then you will need to look in the "H" section.

Finally, for books on France and war that are not focused on religion as a main subject or focus of the book, then you will need to look in the "U" section like the UG range of books.

To discover the call number ranges for broader, narrower, or different subjects, consult the Library of Congress Classification Outline.

Subject Headings

Subject headings allow you to find books according to broader and narrower topics.

Below are sample subjects. To browse for different, broader, or narrower subjects, go to the library catalog and click "Exact Search." Enter a term and click "subject."

You can start browsing for a broad subject like Politics, then look for more specific subjects, such as Politics, France History 17th century.

Once you know some subject headings, you can also just use them as keywords during an advanced search, using the subject row.

Below is an example of using the subject term Renaissance and France:

                Subject Heading examples for Renaissance France

Here is an example of the subject headings Reformation--France. France is not the only country involved in the reformation, as you can see from the list:

                Reformation France Subject Term Examples

Here we have an example of using Counter-Reformation and then War of Religion. Again, several countries were involved in this process and dates were included. You are able to include a date to help narrow your search:

                Subject heading Counter-Reformation and France

                Wars of Religion, France subject headings

The finally example given here is using the subject headings Enlightenment--France--18th century:

                Subject heading Enlightenment France 18th century



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