The Library of French Thought

The current collection over 9,000 volumes, approximately 150 journal titles, magazines, maps, slides, and other ephemera. Our vast literature holdings cover the entire history of French writing from the earliest chansons to francophonie and the bande dessinée. Subjects such as history, linguistics, criticism, theater, film, and philosophy are also well represented. New items are being added to the collection on a periodic basis.

Thanks to a generous donation by Steve Snow in honor of Priscilla D.”Petie” Snow, we were able to create a leisure reading section in the library featuring a wide selection of materials ranging from general interest in French language and culture, to children’s literature, to art and travel books.

4229 Dwinelle Hall

Oliver Whitmore

Hours Spring 2022

Monday 11-1 open study; 2:30-6:30 quiet study. 

Tuesday 11-1 quiet study; 2:30-6:30 open study. 

Wednesday 10-2 quiet study

Thursday CLOSED

Friday 9-1 open study

During 'quiet' hours, visitors are asked to study quietly, with minimal noise.

During 'open' study, students can chat, work together on group projects or homework, talk about their reading assignments, play board games (we have Monopoly and Scrabble in French), etc. 


Students may bring drinks in closed containers; however we cannot allow food at this time. 

In order to curb Covid-19, the library keeps several of the windows open to maximize air flow.  When the library is open, all university mask-related policies apply. Starting March 7, in consideration of vulnerable individuals, we ask that patrons mask up, especially when social distancing is not possible.


New Borrowing Policies: All students enrolled in a French course may check out any circulating item (books in the stacks, general reading books & magazines). Non-circulating items include reference materials, rare books, journals, and the Pléiade collection. Course Textbooks can only be checked out for two hours maximum. 

Students enrolled in French 3, 13, 35 and above may physically browse the stacks. For stacks items, students in French 1 & 2 should look up their item in the catalog and ask the librarian to fetch it for them.

Graduate students in French, Comp lit, and RLL also have full borrowing privileges; graduate students in other departments should contact the librarian at the address above if they wish to borrow material from the French library. 

View our catalogue here

Please use this form to check out library materials


Accessibility: Some of the rows in the stacks are not wheelchair accessible and have limited lighting. Students who need assistance should check the catalog for their items, which the librarian can then fetch for them. 



OTHER HELP outside of the Library of French Thought

Student who need reference help, day or night, can always use the Ask A Librarian service. It’s live research help 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Ask A Librarian is a consortium of reference librarians from over 1,400 institutions.

Claude Potts
Librarian for Romance Languages
Research and Collections
218 Doe Library
(510) 642-6052
cpotts [AT]

French Collections in the UC Berkeley Libraries