Latin America - Library & Learning Resources - City College of San Francisco Go to the CCSF library's main page Find Books using the library's Catalog Find Articles in periodical & reference databases Search the web Library information, frequently asked questions Go to main CCSF web page

Finding Books

Reserve Books

Subject Headings

Reference Sources

Finding Articles

Web Resources

Evaluating Sources

Citing Sources

Additional Help


Latin America Subject Guide

Subject guides are designed to help students begin the research process, find reputable sources, and save time.

Searching the Library Catalog for Books & Other Materials

To locate books and other materials in CCSF Libraries, select the Library Catalog from the Library's Homepage. You will notice many ways to search, such as Title, Author, Subject, Subject Keyword, etc.

To begin research in this area, do a subject search on "Latin America" and browse through its various subdivisions such as:

Latin America
Latin America -- Civilization
Latin America -- Economic conditions
Latin America -- Politics and government
Latin America -- Relations -- United States
You may also use related subject heading such as:
Latin American fiction
Latin American studies

If you have a particular country within Latin America that youíre trying to research, you may start by doing a subject search on that country. Examples are:

Cuba -- History
Peru -- Social conditions

Many subject headings pertaining to Latin America have a subject followed by the adjective assigned to the country. Examples are:

Art, Mexican
Popular music - Domincan Republic
Cookery -- Brazilian

For subjects pertaining to literature, headings are arranged by the adjective assigned to the country. Examples are:

Mexican literature
Chilean poetry
Salvadoran fiction
Argentine drama

Reserve Materials

Reserve Materials include books, sample tests, class notes, and other items that instructors put at the library for class use. The check out time is shorter than regular circulating books.

To search for a book on reserve in the Library Catalog, select either Reserves by Course or Reserves by Instructor.


When you have located the materials, write down the Call Number and Title and present this to a staff person at the Circulation Desk.


Browsing the Library Collection

Materials in the Library are shelved by call number according to the Library of Congress classification system. Books are arranged on the shelves by subject. Relevant areas in the collection to find materials on Latin America include:





Latin America - History

F1408.3 - F1419

Latin America - Economic conditions

HC121 - HC130

Latin America - Politics and government

JL952 - JL 969

Music - Latin America

ML 199

Art - Latin America

N6501 - N6502.5

Latin American literature

PQ7081 - PQ 8560


Using Key Reference Sources

Reference books provide background information and overviews on a given topic. Some relevant reference books pertaining to Latin America include:

Enciclopedia hispánica.
Barcelona : Encyclopaedia Britannica Publishers, 1991-1992.
AE61 .E52 1992 Rosenberg Reference

Gran Larousse universal. Diccionario de la lengua española.
Barcelona : Plaza & Janes, 1995-1996.
AE61 .G73 1995 Rosenberg Reference

Candelaria, Cordelia Chávez, editor. Encyclopedia of Latino popular culture.
Westport, CT : Greenwood Press, 2004.
E184.S75 E59 2004. Rosenberg Reference

Benson, Sonia G., editor. Reference library of Hispanic America.
Farmington Hills, MI : Gale, 2003.
E184.S75 R44 2003. Rosenberg Reference

Diccionario Porrua de historia, biografía y geografía de México.
6. ed. corr. y aum. México, D.F. : Editorial Porrua, 1995.
F1204 .D56 1995 Rosenberg Reference

Musacchio, Humberto. Milenios de México.
México, D.F. : Hoja Casa Editorial, 1999.
F1204 .M955 1999 Rosenberg Reference

Werner, Michael S. Encyclopedia of Mexico : history, society & culture.
Chicago, IL : Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997.
F1210 .E63 1997 Rosenberg Reference

Camp, Roderic Ai. Mexican political biographies, 1884-1935.
Austin, TX : University of Texas Press, 1991.
F1233.5 .C28 1991 Rosenberg Reference

Standish, Peter, editior. Hispanic culture of Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Detroit, MI : Gale Research, 1996.
F1234 .H794 1996 Rosenberg Reference

Camp, Roderic Ai. Mexican political biographies, 1935-1993.
Austin, TX : University of Texas Press, 1995.
F1235.5.A2 C35 1995 Rosenberg Reference

Latin America and Caribbean contemporary record.
New York, NY : Holmes & Meier, (1981-1982)- .
F1401 .L24 Rosenberg Reference

South America, Central America, and the Caribbean.
London : Europa Publications Ltd., 1997.
F1401 .S68 1997 Rosenberg Reference

Collier, Simon et al. The Cambridge encyclopedia of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1992.
F1406 .C36 1992 Rosenberg Reference

Tenenbaum, Barbara A. and Georgette Magassy Dorn., editors. Encyclopedia of Latin American history and culture.
New York, NY : C. Scribner's Sons, 1996.
F1406 .E53 1996 Rosenberg Reference

Box, Ben, editor. South American handbook.
[London] Trade and Travel Publications, ltd.; Distributed in the U. S. by Rand McNally, 2004.
F2211 .S6 2003 Rosenberg Reference

Standish, Peter, editor. Hispanic culture of South America.
Detroit, MI : Gale Research, 1995.
F2237 .H57 1995 Rosenberg Reference

Rosenberg, Jerry Martin. Encyclopedia of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the New American Community, and Latin-American trade.
Westport, CT : Greenwood Press, 1995.
HC94 .R668 1995 Rosenberg Reference

Statistical record of women worldwide.
Detroit, MI : Gale Research, Inc. 1995.
HQ1101 .S73 1995 Rosenberg Reference

Smith, Verity, editor. Encyclopedia of Latin American literature.
London ; Chicago : Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997.
PQ7081.A1 E56 1997 Rosenberg Reference

Krstovic, Jelena O., editor. Hispanic literature criticism.
Detroit, MI : Gale Research, 1994.
PQ7081.A1 H573 1994 Rosenberg Reference

Sole, Carlos A. and Maria Isabel Abreu,, editors. Latin American writers.
New York, NY : Scribner, 1989.
PQ7081.A1 L37 1989 Rosenberg Reference

Magill, Frank Northen, editor. Masterpieces of Latino literature.
New York, NY : HarperCollins, 1994.
PQ7081.A1 M29 1994 Rosenberg Reference

Ryan, Bryan, editor. Hispanic writers : a selection of sketches from contemporary authors.
Detroit, MI : Gale Research, 1991
PQ7081.3 .H58 1991 Rosenberg Reference

Brower, Keith H. Contemporary Latin American fiction : an annotated bibliography.
Pasadena, CA : Salem Press, 1989.
PQ7082.N7 B76 1989 Rosenberg Reference

Barretto, João C. Latin American fiction in translation : a bibliography.
San Francisco, CA : City College of San Francisco, Rosenberg Library, 2004.
(also available on the web at:
PQ7087.E5 B377 2004 Rosenberg Reference.

Stavans, Ilan and Harold Augenbraum, editors. Encyclopedia Latina : history, culture, and society in the United States.
PQ7087.E5 B377 2004 Rosenberg Reference

Luis, William, editor. Modern Latin-American fiction writers : first series.
Detroit, MI : Gale Research, 1992.
PS21 .D5 v.113 Rosenberg Reference

Luis, William and Ann González, editors. Modern Latin-American fiction writers : second series.
Detroit, MI : Gale Research, 1994
PS21 .D5 v.145 Rosenberg Reference

Cobos, Ana María and Ana Lya Sater. Latin American studies : an annotated bibliography of core works.
Jefferson, NC : McFarland, 2002.
REF Z1601 .C536 2002 Rosenberg Reference


Searching for Articles in Periodical Databases

The term ìperiodicalsî encompasses popular magazines, journals and newspapers. If you need assistance in identifying the differences between articles from a popular magazine and a scholarly journal, you may go here for further information:
If you encounter any difficulty with using a database, please contact a reference librarian for assistance.

Note: Most periodical databases are part of the private, passworded Web, so you will need to have a current CCSF ID card with a barcode to access those that CCSF subscribes to. You get the free barcode from the Library either in person or online.

Infotrac Web
There are currently 5 databases within Infotrac available to the CCSF community:

1. Expanded Academic ASAP
2. Business Index ASAP
3. Health Reference Center Academic
4. Health and Wellness Resource Center
5. OneFile

For this group of databases, you will find articles with

a) a citation only
b) a citation with an abstract of the article
c) a citation with the full text of the article.

Depending on the topic within Latin America that you are researching, select the appropriate database to begin your search.


Select: Infotrac OneFile

Upon entering the database, you will, by default, be put in the "Subject guide search" mode.

Browsing a subject
You may browse a major subject such as Mexico by typing "Mexico" in the search box provided and then either clicking on the "Search" button or hitting the "Enter" key on the keyboard. At the next screen, select "Narrow by subdivision". At the next screen, you may select the appropriate subdivision containing the cluster of citations you would like to look at.

Examples of other subject headings include:

Mexico - Revolution, 1910-1920
Diaz, Porfirio
Latin America -- Relations -- United States
International trade - Latin America
Cuba -- Revolution, 1959

Doing a keyword search
You may access this search mode by clicking on the "Keyword search" link on the left of the screen. This search option allows you to specify words or terms in your search. You may combine keywords and phrases with "AND".


Zapatistas and human rights
NAFTA and economic reform
Chile and civil rights
Venezuela and oil production

CQ Researcher
Provides full-text articles on topics ranging from social and teen issues to environment, health, education and science and technology.

Browse by topic:
Example: Mexico

Example: economic development and Mexico

Proquest Newspapers
News articles from 5 major newspapers, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and the Christian Science Monitor. Date ranges vary by publication. Full text available.

Example: Brazil and economy .

Provides country-specific geopolitical information on 192 countries of the world.

Select "THE AMERICAS" and at the next screen select the desired country.


Finding Web Resources

Below are some examples of academic/scholarly web sites pertaining to Latin America. If you use a search engine, such as Google, remember to evaluate the quality of the results.

Latin American Network Information Center
(LANIC) facilitates access to Internet-based information to, from, or about Latin America.

Internet Resources for Latin America
provides access to many information resources for Latin American studies

Handbook of Latin American Studies
Handbook of Latin American Studies is a bibliography on Latin America consisting of works selected and annotated by scholars.

Kiosco Latino Virtual
Kiosco Latino Virtual provides free access to many newspapers from all Latin American countries.

Library of Congress Country Studies / Area Handbook
Library of Congress Country Studies / Area Handbook are electronic versions of books published about many countries.


Need More Assistance?

For additional help you may contact the Reference Desk by phone at (415) 452-5543 or stop by the East and West reference desks at the Rosenberg Library.

Electronic Reference Service to CCSF students, faculty, staff and registered community users. Use this service when you are NOT in a CCSF library.

Library and Web Research Workshops
FIfty minute workshops are given throughout the semester on effective methods in searching for books, articles and information on the Internet.

Evaluating and Citing Information Sources
Several useful sources for evaluating the quality of web pages, how to prepare citations for a "Bibliography" or "Works Cited" list, and how to avoid plagiarism.

Purdue's Online Writing Lab
One of the most thorough and easy to navigate writing labs avaialble!

A+ Research and Writing
Hosted by the Internet Public Library.

Writing Process @ CSU
Colorado State University developed these guides which "focus on a range of composing processes as well as issues related to the situations in which writers find themselves."

Please contact João Barretto, Acquisitions Librarian, if you have any questions or comments at Rosenberg Library, R506B, tel: 415-452-5441, e-mail:

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Last updated October 7, 2005