This collection includes links to research databases, finding aids, historical society webpages, and other materials useful to those undertaking research in the field. Material is arranged by region rather than by historical period. The collection is a work in progress, and some regions/eras are currently better represented than others. We are always looking to expand, so please send any suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
General / Transregional
Provides access to the French National Library’s collection of digitized documents, included treatises, newspapers, Journal officiel transcripts of debates in the National Assembly and the Senate, and a wealth of other materials. Interface is currently only available in French.
French Colonial Archives (ANOM; Archives nationales d’outre-mer)
Archives repatriated from France’s colonies are primarily held at the ANOM. From the website’s landing page, you can access online inventories (not all inventories are available online, however), the catalogue for the library housed in the same building as the archives, digitized archival documents, digitized vital data (état civil), the Ulysse database of images, and other materials. Website is largely in French, with certain pages available in English.
A bibliography of online sources on French colonial history compiled by Thierry Anjubault.
Société française d’histoire des outre-mers
French society for colonial studies; publishes the journal Outre-Mers twice a year. (French only)
Les Entreprises coloniales
This site maintained by Alain Léger contains dozens of transcribed documents related to business ventures across the French empire; it is subdivided by region. (French only)
William Haponski Collection — Finding Aid
Approximately ten linear feet of books, periodicals, manuscript materials, and newsletters donated to the archive by William Haponski. The majority of the materials in this collection are about the French involvement in Vietnam, and more specifically their involvement in the First Indochina War. Subjects covered are the French colonization of Vietnam, battles and strategies of the First Indochina War, to include firsthand accounts from participants, the rubber industry and plantations in Vietnam, and missions. There are also source materials covering the American Vietnam War. These materials cover the period 1885 through 2012. (English only)
MSU Vietnam Group Digital Archive
The digital archive contains materials pertaining to Michigan State University’s technical assistance programs in the Republic of Vietnam, which ran from 1955 until 1962. They shed light not only on these programs themselves, but also on the political and economic history of the early period of the Republic of Vietnam more broadly. (English only)
Historical Dictionary of the Indochina War
This website provides access to hundreds of entries in Christopher Goscha’s Historical Dictionary, which is also available in hard copy.
Vietnamiens en France
This site brings together bibliographies, primary sources, and general information on the history of Vietnamese in France. It is in a stage of ongoing development, so check back regularly. (French only)
Études Cham/Cham Studies
This site features information on Champa and a bibliography of academic and other publications on Cham history. (English and French)
Finding Aid for Archives related to French West Africa at the Military Archives (Série 5H, Service historique de la Défense)
Colonial Archives of Brazzaville
A website dedicated to the colonial archives of French Equatorial Africa housed at the National Archives of Congo in Brazzaville. This site gives details on access conditions for potential researchers and retraces the history of the colonial archives kept in Brazzaville. Includes a few sample documents and the inventories of the Gouvernement Général and the Inspection Générale de l’Enseignement. Website is in English, documents are in French.
Resources on Cameroon – Small Small Catch Monkey (Mark DeLancey, DePaul)
Mark DeLancey’s site contains bibliographies on a wide range of historical and cultural topics related to Cameroon, as well as a finding aid for the Cameroon National Archives in Yaoundé and PDFs of constitutional documents.
University of Pennsylvania Africa Studies Center
The Center’s website includes a Resources section organized by country.
Columbia University’s African Studies Site
This site presents detailed information about Columbia’s collections as well as links to a variety of online resources.
University of Illinois’s Center for African Studies
This site presents detailed information about the Center’s activities, Illinois’ collections, and links to a variety of online resources.
Colonial Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia – A. Garcia
A personal website with access to some digitized documents and digital exhibits. (French only)
A personal website with links to a range of digitized documents related to Algeria, primarily from the French colonial period. (French only)
North America/New France
The Champlain Society
The Society’s website provides access to its own publications, as well a digital edition of Samuel de Champlain’s works. (English only)
France in America/La France en Amérique
The result of a partnership between the Library of Congress and the French National Library, this database provides access to a range of digitized materials on the French presence in North America. (French and English)
The Center for French Colonial Studies
The center focuses on the history of the French presence in the upper Mississippi Valley from the late 17th to the early 19th centuries. (English only)
The Historical Atlas of Canada
Online access to historical maps of Canada and significant portions of the data used to generate them. (French and English)
The W.H. Pugsley Collection of Early Canadian Maps
This is a digital collection of maps held at McGill University, dating from the mid-16th century to the mid-20th century. (French and English)
Trésors de la Cartothèque de l’Université Laval
Collection of historic maps, including of Quebec and Canada. (French only)
Institut d’histoire de l’Amérique française
This Quebec-based institute brings together specialists of the histories of Quebec and French North America. (French only)
Digital Library of the Caribbean
A cooperative digital library of resources on the Caribbean, including maps, exhibits, and newspapers. (English interface)
Archives nationales de Haïti
Information about the archives, though no access to finding aids or catalogues.
La médiathèque caraïbe (The Caribbean Media Library)
Online access to catalogues, collection descriptions, and related academic articles. (French only)
Caribbean Documents Collection (University of Miami)
Access to a selection of correspondence and documents concerning various aspects of business and life in the Caribbean from the 1750s through the 1850s.
Bibliothèque numérique Caraïbe, Amazonie, Plateau des Guyanes (French, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole interfaces)
Le Marronage dans le monde Atlantique
A digital collection of 15 000 notices of fugitive enslaved people published in the Caribbean, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Canada (French only; the English website is not fully operational).
Our collection of resources is intended to be of use to teacher, students, and others with an interest in French colonial history. The collection is a work in progress, and some regions/eras are currently better represented than others. The material is organized by region, rather than by period. We encourage you to send any suggestions to email@example.com and help us expand!
Inspired by the Ferguson Syllabus and Charleston Syllabus, amongst others, FCHS members compiled the Paris Syllabus in the wake of the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. It includes scholarly work on a wide range of topics, including cultural and religious diversity in France, French colonial legacies, and histories of North Africa and the Middle East, as well as novels, plays, music, and op-eds published at the time of the attacks.
General / Transregional
Teaching Decolonization Resource Collection – The National History Center
This collection brings together resources on global decolonization, including many materials on French empire.
ANOM Virtual Exhibits
The French Overseas Archives website contains a series of virtual exhibits on topics like Auguste Pavie, Savorgnan de Brazza, Alfred Dreyfus, and French Louisiana. Several are available in English, though more are available in French.
ANOM Monthly Dossiers
The French Overseas Archives website also hosts a series of dossiers on specific topics related to its collections. Several are available in English, though more are available in French.
ANOM Ulysse Database
A database of images, maps, and a few posters. The interface is in French.
Amis des Archives d’Outre-Mer, Exposition colonial de Marseille 1906
This is a virtual exhibit on the Marseilles colonial exposition of 1906, based primarily on materials from the Marseilles municipal archives. (French only).
Age of Revolutions
This website created and maintained by two historians features a series of essays that engage with some aspect of revolution. Includes a number of essays on the French Atlantic in the age of revolutions. (English only)
This site features images from the colonial era, as well as excerpts of novels, reports and other primary sources. (French only)
Adieu Saigon, Au Revoir Hanoi: The 1943 Vacation Diary of Claudie Beaucarnot
This website is the culmination of a faculty-student research project directed by Dr. David Del Testa. It features a translation of Claudie Beaucarnot’s diary of a trip she took with her family through French colonial Indochina in 1943, as well as supporting documentation and an interactive map. (English only)
A multimedia, multi-platform project that focuses on events in Asia during the hundred days following the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. (English only)
North America / New France
Virtual Museum on New France – Canadian Museum of History
This exhibit on New France is available in both English and French.
Pathfinders and Passageways : The Exploration of Canada
Les Voies de la découverte : L’exploration du Canada
An overview of the European exploration of Canada. This is an archived site, and is no longer maintained.
The Jesuit Relations and the History of New France
Les relations des Jésuites : Aux sources de l’histoire de la Nouvelle-France
A virtual exhibit available in both English and French. The website is archived, and is no longer maintained.
Musée de l’Amérique francophone (Museum of Francophone America)
The museum’s website, available in both English and French, contains information about exhibits and cultural activities.
The Maine Memory Network
Website devoted to Maine history, including some materials related to the French presence. (English only)
The Louverture Project
An open-content resource that includes encyclopedia entries, timelines, images, maps, and primary source documents.
David Geggus, The Haitian Revolution: A Documentary History (Hackett Publishing Company, 2014)
Laurent Dubois and John Garrigus, Slave Revolution in the Caribbean, 1789-1804: A Brief History with Documents(Bedford/St Martin’s, 2016)
Tran Tu Binh, Red Earth: A Vietnamese Memoir of Life on a Colonial Rubber Plantation (Ohio University Press, 1986)
Truong Buu Lam, Patterns of Vietnamese Response to Foreign Intervention, 1858-1900 (Yale UP, 1967)
Truong Buu Lam, Colonialism Experienced: Vietnamese Writings on Colonialism, 1900-1931 (University of Michigan Press, 2000)
Hue-Tam Ho Tai, Passion, Betrayal, and Revolution in Colonial Saigon: The Memoirs of Bao Luong (University of California Press, 2010)
Marguerite Duras, The Sea Wall. No longer in print, but there are possibilities for legal reprints.
Marguerite Duras, The Lover (Pantheon, 1998)
Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism, trans. Joan Pinkham (several editions)
Mouloud Feraoun, Journal (1955-1962) (Contemporary French Fiction, 2011)
Mouloud Feraoun, The Poor Man’s Son (University of Virginia Press, 2005)
Todd Shepard, Voices of Decolonization: A Brief History with Documents (Bedford/St Martin’s, 2014) – Covers global decolonization, and contains several documents from the French colonial context.
Bonnie Smith, Modern Empires: A Reader (Oxford UP, 2017)
Jean-Paul Sartre, Colonialism and Neocolonialism (Routledge, 2005)
Albert Memmi, The Colonizer and The Colonized (several editions in translation)
Franz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (several editions in translation)
Franz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (several editions in translation)
Slavery and the Haitian Revolution
Site includes overview of the Revolution as well as several primary sources.
The Louverture Project
An open-content resource that includes encyclopedic entries, timelines, images, maps, and primary source documents.
History of the Haitian Independence Struggle – Marxists Internet Archive
Primary Sources and Maps on French Exploration of the Americas – National Humanities Center
Jules Ferry, Speech to the French National Assembly
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnamese Declaration of Independence
East Asian History Sourcebook – Fordham University (archived)
Colonial North America Sourcebook– Fordham University (archived)
Imperialism Sourcebook – Fordham University (archived)
La France est un empire (France is an Empire; 1939 documentary re-issued by Les Documents cinématographiques, available with English subtitles)
La 317ème section (The 317th Platoon; Pierre Schoendoerffer, 1964)
La bataille d’Alger (The Battle of Algiers; Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966)
La victoire en chantant (Black and White in Color; Jean-Jacques Annaud, 1976)
Chocolat (Claire Denis, 1988)
Indochine (Régis Wargnier, 1992)
L’Amant (The Lover, Jean-Jacques Annaud, 1992)
L’Ami Y’a Bon (Rachid Bouchareb, 2004) – animated short about the Thiaroye massacre; no English subtitles, but they’re not necessary as there is very little dialogue.
Indigènes (Days of Glory; Rachid Bouchareb, 2006)
L’ennemi intime (Intimate Enemies; Florent Emilio-Siri, 2007)