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Latin American Studies Research Guide: Home

An introductory guide to doing research in Latin American studies in the UCSD Library


Latin American Studies is an interdisciplinary subject area which involves many countries (at least 23), regions (MesoAmerica, Central America, South America and others), languages and cultures (Spanish, African, English, French, Portuguese, and Indigenous) and many subject disciplines, including Anthropology, Art and Art History, History, Economics, Geography, International Affairs, Linguistics, Literature, Music, Political Science, Religion, and Sociology.

This research guide is intended for students and researchers in Latin American Studies of all levels. It lists general resources related to Latin American Studies, including books, journals, and online resources available at UCSD and within the broader UC Library System.  

See the box to the right: "Beginning Your Research" for suggestions on how to approach your research project and navigate this research guide and/or email me to set up a research consultation for more help!





General Library Info

Beginning Your Research

* Two boxes at the bottom of this page are particularly helpful if you are new to UCSD or to academic library research: General Library Information and Off-Campus Access to Library Resources.  Make sure you scroll down on this page to access these if need be.  "General Library Information" includes a link to the very useful "Get Started with Library Research!" guide which provides great suggestions on using UCSD and UC-wide library resources.

Information about Latin America can be found in a variety of formats and disciplines.   Much of what you find will be in Spanish or Portuguese.  This guide is designed to direct you to major sources of information in a variety of areas.

For places to search for books, click on the "Finding Books" tab.  A good way to begin searching for books is to use Melvyl, which allows you to search in all of the UC Libraries.  If you need more materials, you can then expand out to Libraries Worldwide.  Links to Melvyl and other resources for books (such as the UCSD-Specific Library Catalog, Roger) can be found on the "Finding Books" Tab.  Theses and Dissertations are also featured on the "Finding Books and Articles" Tab.  Although they are unpublished book-length works, they are often important sources of original information and their bibliographies can lead you to other sources.

To locate academic journal articles, use the various databases listed on the "Finding Articles" Tab. News sources are listed on another tab at the top.

Much of the social science literature related to Latin America is published in grey literature (information produced by non-governmental organizations, research institutes, and other non-commercial publishing houses).  Major access points to grey literature are outlined on the Grey Literature Tab.

Primary sources are of particular importance in doing historical research or identifying first-hand perspectives on topics.  Some of the information may be in archives that have been digitized.  In some cases, the documents themselves may not yet be digitized, but finding aids to those collections help you identify if they can be helpful in your research.  Beneath the main "Primary Sources" tab on this research guide are several specialized pages identifying ways to access different kinds of primary sources.  These include statistics, data sets, public opinion; Newspapers; and Archives and Government Information. 

  • Government information from Latin America often includes presidential messages, statements of public policy, and government produced statistics about country and its activities.  U.S. government information (particularly hearings and State Department documents) contain a wealth of information about U.S. relations with Latin America.
  • Quantitative data (statistics, data sets/ public opinion surveys, etc.) are important sources to use to support ideas you put forth.  These may require a basic knowledge of statistical program such as STATA.


Off Campus Access to Library Resources


Sarah Buck Kachaluba
Geisel Library (west wing)

Latin American Research Centers at UCSD

Web Portals/Internet Search Engines

Use the following portal to identify high-quality information on the Internet about Latin America: