Researching Latin American History

mola, hand-stitched by women of the San Blas Islands off Panama Use the links below to research issues in US-Latin American relations and Latin American history and culture. These are the most important research tools for the field. Use primary and secondary sources, but NEVER CITE TERTIARY SOURCES (encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other third-hand resources). You may use tertiary sources to gain quick, basic background, but they are never appropriate citations in university-level research.
  • Doing Research at Duke or Chapel Hill? Owing to Cooperative Latin American Collection Development at the UNC and Duke Libraries, UNC takes primary responsibility for:
  • Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, insular Caribbean, with emphasis on Cuba
  • Duke focuses on: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, English-speaking Caribbean, and Central America.
  • If you come across other databases, sites, or finding aids that you found useful, please inform Dr. Slatta so that he can add the resource to this list.

    Most Important, Must-Use Finding Aids

    1. JSTOR Search Page yields full text of articles Search for and access full texts of scholarly articles in most field, including history and Latin American studies. You may also use JSTOR to search for images in scholarly articles and to search ArtStor, a large database of paintings, portraits, and other images.
    2. HAPI/ Hispanic American Periodicals Index yields full text of some articles Over 275,000 journal article citations about Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Mexico, Brazil, and Hispanics/Latinos in the United States. HAPI currently provides over 60,000 links to the full text of articles appearing in more than 600 key social science and humanities journals published throughout the world. PRISMA Offers the full text of some key titles indexed in HAPI.

      For the following 3 resources, whichg provide bibliographical citations, not full text, go to the D. H. Hill Library database page

    3. Handbook of Latin American Studies [from the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress] Click "H" at top of page and select the HLAS. The most important reference when doing Latin American research. Yields expertly annotated bibliographical citations.
    4. Historical Abstracts Click "H" at top of page and select from list. Covers non-US history, including extensive coverage of Latin America. Yields annotated bibliography of good scholarly journals and books.
    5. America: History and Life Click "A" at top of page and select from list. Yields annotated bibliography of books and articles on US history and culture, with coverage of US-Latin American relations, Latinos, immigration, and border issues.

      Declassified Documents--NCSU Unity login required

    6. Digital National Security Archive Do keyword searches of the documents--not the related secondary materials.
    7. Declassified documents reference system More than 500,000 pages of previously classified government documents. Do keyword searches.

      For Cultural History (Literature, Music, Art, etc.)

    8. ArtStor Digital Library Paintings, photographs, requires Unity log-in
    9. MLA international bibliography Print only, Stacks (9th floor),Z7006.M63 For cultural studies (film, folklore, drama, literature, media), be sure to use this database. It "contains over 1.5 million citations from more than 4,400 journals and series and 1,000 book publishers; covers subjects include literature, language and linguistics, folklore, literary theory & criticism, dramatic arts, as well as the historical aspects of printing and publishing.
    10. Arizona journal of hispanic cultural studies (Online)
    11. NCSU Library World Music periodicals and databases

      Other Useful Resources

    12. AcademicInfo Latin American & Caribbean History Links
    13. Ebscohost Academic Search Premier Wide range of publications, scholarly and popular. Carefully check journal charateristics to ascertain that it is a scholarly publication.
    14. Ingenta (formerly Carl/ Uncover) Bibliographical database of scholarly and popular articles published since 1988. Do keyword searches.
    15. History Section, D. H. Hill Electronic Databases Page. Scroll down the alphabetical list to locate databases of interest.
    16. Google Scholar Advanced Search Find articles written in a particular journal, by a particular author, or within a particular time span. Given that Google Scholar sources are incomplete, they may not count among your total required sources.
    17. Latin Americanist Research Resources Project Includes the Latin American Periodicals Tables of Contents (LAPTOC), a searchable Web database covering the tables of contents of more than 800 journals, primarily in the humanities and social sciences, published in Latin America; Latin American Open Archives Portal (LAOAP), a portal service providing access to social sciences literature produced in Latin America by research institutes, non-governmental organizations, and peripheral agencies; and Presidential Messages database with digital images of over 75,000 pages of presidential speeches from the early 19th century to the present from Mexico and Argentina.
    18. Additional Library of Congress Hispanic Reading Room Internet Resources
    19. Library of Congress Hispanic Reading Room
    20. Links and Data on Iberia, the Caribbean, and Latin America
    21. LA GUIA: Internet Resources for Latin America Compiled and copyrighted by Molly Molloy, New Mexico State University Library, Las Cruces, New Mexico.
    22. Duke University Links to Latin America, Spain & Portugal
    23. UNC-Chapel Hill Institute of Latin American Studies Internet Resources

      Links to Specific Topics

    24. Latin American History Links Use the menu at the top to locate information on a wide range of online materials.
    25. Links for US-Latin American Relations
    26. Pre-Columbian and Colonial Latin American History
    27. US Interventions in Latin America Links compiled by Yvette Hernández, Mayaguiez, Puerto Rico
    28. Latin American Press Links Read Latin American perspectives on the news (English and foreign-language links)
    29. Historical Research and Writing Links

    Tips on Electronic Research

    1. Create a summary sentence about your research topic, e.g. “I want to examine the history of water rights law in California.”
    2. Review the sentence, and note which words or phrases could produce the types of results you are seeking. In the above example, you may choose to include “history,” “water rights,” “law,” and “California.” You won’t need to use words such as “a,” “an,” or “the,” because most search engines and databases do not include them as they search for your information.
    3. If you are not yet very familiar with the topic, you could look up your keywords in a dictionary, encyclopedia, or other reference resource. You will gather additional background information, and you can also discover additional words that can help you either expand or refine your search. To continue with our example, an encyclopedia article on water rights can lead you to additional related terms such as “appropriation,” “reserved water rights,” or “riparian rights.” You might also consider other issues related to your broader topic, such as soil conditions or animal migration patterns. Alternately, you may get the idea to focus your topic on a particular geographical area (e.g. Northern or Southern California).
    4. If using website as resources, carefully evaluate the credibility of the sight. Read these tips on effective evaluation of websites. Consider website purpose [selling you? conning you?), quality, intended audience, date of last update, appearance, and reputation.
  • Reference: Barker, D.I., Barker, M.S., and Pinard, K.T. 2012. Internet Research Illustrated, 6th ed. Boston, MA: Course Technology, Cengage Learning.