Skip to Main Content

A Guide to Latin American Studies

Research Guide for Latin American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

Reference Sources

Oxford Research Encyclopedias: Latin American history - substantive, peer-reviewed, and regularly updated; combines the speed and flexibility of digital with the rigorous standards of academic publishing eBook

Oxford Bibliographies Online: Latin American Studies- combines the best features of an annotated bibliography and a high-level encyclopedia to guide researchers to the best available scholarship in Latin American Studies. Each article includes an introduction written by a top scholar in the field. Also includes expert recommendations on the best works available in each discipline – whether it be a chapter, a book, a journal article, a website, an archive, or data set – to streamline the research process. eBook

Coerver, Don M., Suzanne B. Pasztor, and Robert M. Buffington. Mexico: An encyclopedia of contemporary culture and history (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2004) print

Werner, Michael, ed. Concise Encyclopedia of Mexico (Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, Inc., 2001) eBook

Alisky, Marvin. Historical Dictionary of Mexico 2nd ed. (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2008) print

Enciclopedia de México (Ciudad de México, Instituto de la Enciclopedia de México, 1966- ) - Spanish; 12 volumes print

Jay Kinsbruner and Erick D. Langer, eds. Encyclopedia of Latin American history and culture 2nd ed. (Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2008) eBook

George Torres, ed. Encyclopedia of Latin American popular music (Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2013) print

Minahan, James B. Ethnic groups of the Americas: An encyclopedia (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2013)

Diana Kapiszewski & Alexander Kazan, eds. Encyclopedia of Latin American politics (Westport, CT; London: Oryx Press, 2002) print

Thomas M. Leonard, Jürgen Buchenau, Kyle Longley, and Graeme S. Mount, eds. Encyclopedia of U.S.-Latin American relations (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE/CQ Press, 2012). eBook


The Library of Congress subheading "bibliographies" is exactly what it suggests: a printed bibliography on the subject. Before the digital age, librarians and scholars created print bibliographies of all the known, important works on particular subjects. If you find the appropriate subject headings for your topic by catalog searching, scroll down the list of subheadings and look for "bibliographies" or use it in a keyword search. 

Secondary Sources

Historical Abstracts (1955-) Historical coverage of the world from 1450 to the present (excluding the United States and Canada), from over 2,000 journals published worldwide.

Hispanic American Periodicals Index (HAPI) Article citations about Central and South America, Mexico, Brazil, the Caribbean basin, the United States-Mexico border region, and Hispanics/Latinos in the United States. Analyses of current political, economic, and social issues as well as unique coverage of Latin American arts and letters.

Handbook of Latin American Studies (HLAS) Abstracts and complete bibliographic information for published materials about Latin America on topics in the social sciences and humanities. Available in English or Spanish.

JSTOR Originally containing digitized back issues of academic journals, it now encompasses books and other primary sources as well as current issues of journals in the humanities and social sciences. It provides full-text searches of almost 2,000 journals in over 50 disciplines.

Bibliografia Mesoamericana Assembled by the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies Inc. (FAMSI; under the Los Angeles County Museum of Art), a comprehensive and continually updated bibliographic dataset of the published literature pertaining to the anthropology of Mesoamerica (México, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador). Content includes archaeology, ethnography, ethnohistory, art history, linguistics, physical anthropology, and other related disciplines.

Google Scholar The most extensive index of academic journal articles. Accessing Google Scholar via the proxied link will enable Get It! and Web of Science Links from within Google Scholar citations.

Primary Sources


Library catalogers use the subheading "Sources" at the end of a string of subheadings to indicate anthologies of primary sources. However, cataloging is not a perfect science, so not every collection of primary sources has this subheading. For example, a search for the keyword phrase "documentary sourcebook" in the WU Libraries' catalog produces seven titles, only three of which have "sources" as a subheading. In other words, performing a subject search will not produce a complete list of all primary source collections. Sometimes the source one wants to find is not in an anthology but cited in a bibliography of another work. You might want to try an advanced search with a combination of subject headings and keywords like “sources,” "sourcebook," "primary sources," "primary documents," etc. Other subheadings that are specific to different kinds of primary sources are "Maps," "Correspondence," "personal narratives," etc.