Abstract : In 1985 the French government created a unique circuit for the dissemination of doctoral theses: References went to a national database “Téléthèses” whereas the documents were distributed to the university libraries in microform. In the era of the electronic document this French network of deposit of and access to doctoral theses is changing. How do you discover and locate a French thesis today, how do you get hold of a paper copy and how do you access the full electronic text? What are the catalogues and databases referencing theses since the disappearance of “Téléthèses”? Where are the archives, and are they open? What is the legal environment that rules the emerging structures and tools? This paper presents national plans on referencing and archiving doctoral theses coordinated by the government as well as some initiatives for creating full text archives. These initiatives come from universities as well as from research institutions and learned societies. “Téléthèses” records have been integrated in a union catalogue of French university libraries SUDOC. University of Lyon-2 and INSA Lyon developed procedures and tools covering the entire production chain from writing to the final access in an archive: “Cyberthèses” and “Cither”. The CNRS Centre for Direct Scientific Communication at Lyon (CCSD) maintains an archive (“TEL”) with about 2000 theses in all disciplines. Another repository for theses in engineering, economics and management called “Pastel” is proposed by the Paris Institute of Technology (ParisTech), a consortium of 10 engineering and commercial schools of the Paris region.