Welcome to the French Institute
Emmanuel d’Alzon Library, 3rd floor
500 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609
The French Institute seeks to foster the study of the French in North America, from the 16thcentury to today, with particular emphasis on New England. It is both an academic research facility and a center for French cultural activities. As a research center, the French Institute collects, arranges, preserves, and makes accessible books, documents, and artifacts pertinent to its primary focus. All aspects of the French presence in North America are of interest: historical, linguistic, political, cultural, religious, literary, etc. The French Institute further aims to promote knowledge and increase awareness of francophone North Americans by organizing lectures and colloquia and becoming involved in a variety of cultural projects.
The French Institute seeks to be the leading place to study material relating to the more than one million French Canadians who immigrated to New England in the 19th and 20th centuries. An active community of scholars engaged in ethnic studies, social history, and linguistic analysis currently utilizes the French Institute collection. Undergraduate students, doctoral candidates, and professional scholars are among these users. Scholarship emerging from study of the Institute collection is of interest and relevance to both specialists and a broader public. As a nation of immigrants, the United States continues to face issues regarding diversity that can be illuminated through such case studies of ethnicity and assimilation.
The French Institute does not operate alone. It exists as a specialized collection within the d’Alzon Library and as an integral part of Assumption College. It also coexists with other similar centers in New England, around the country, and across Canada. The Institute recognizes the importance of this complex web of interrelationships.
For reasons of preservation, the French Institute Collection does not circulate; however, non-rare materials are allowed to circulate through the d’Alzon Library or inter-library loan with the director’s permission. It should be noted that the Institute’s collection includes a number of Franco-American newspapers from the New England region. Most consist of bound copies and nearly all have been microfilmed. To preserve the bound volumes, the Institute encourages scholars to consult the microfilm copies whenever they are available, for example, at the American Antiquarian Society or the Boston Public Library.