Travel, Empire, and Cosmopolitanism in the Hispanic World


Tren FE-10 (Metro de la Ciudad de Mexico). Photograph by GAED.        CC BY-SA 3.0. Via Wikimedia Commons. 

Research Guide

Welcome! This page highlights key resources for conducting effective  research for the Spanish and Latin American Cultures Senior Seminar.

If you need assistance identifying additional resources, search terms or strategies, please schedule a research consultation.

Personal Librarian:
Vani Natarajan
Lefrak 106

Finding Books and Media

CLIO includes the online catalog of Columbia University Libraries, Barnard Library, and Union theological Seminary (Law Library and Teachers College Library have separate catalogs). To search within the CLIO catalog, select "Catalog" from the left-hand menu.   CLIO also includes records of CUL materials held offsite, which you can use CLIO to request.

Some CLIO Search Tips:

  • It can often be helpful to start with a more expansive search (i.e. fewer terms entered into the search box), and then use facets and sorting to narrow down your results.
  • Use the asterisk (*) as a wild card. text*  searches for texts, text, textos, etc.
  • Surround words with quotes to search them together as a phrase, i.e. "novela moderna."
  • If using CLIO to find primary sources, make sure to include a date limit for the time period you are studying.Also, use the Subject (Genre) facets to narrow down to the kind of source you are looking for. Some examples:
    • Correspondence
    • Diaries
    • Interviews
    • Maps 
    • Memorabilia
    • Personal Narratives
    • Photographs

Beyond Barnard and Columbia

BorrowDirect allows you to borrow books directly from the libraries of Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, the University of Chicago, and Yale, in addition to select libraries of Harvard and MIT. Items requested through BorrowDirect typically deliver in 3 to 4 business days, with a 6-week loan period + one 6-week renewal.

Interlibrary Loan lets you borrow books, music scores, and selected audiovisual items (i.e. maps or films) that are not currently available at Columbia University Libraries. You can use ILL to request PDF scans of journal articles, as well. ILL has a larger scope of participating institutions than Borrow Direct.

New York Public Library  offers a variety of ways to search and explore their collections:

  • Classic Catalog searches materials across all branches and divisions of the library.
  • Digital Collections offers access to a limited, yet extensive, selection of digitized images, text, sound, and video from the library's collections.
  • Find Archival Materials searches archival collections across the library's research divisions, in most cases offering full text access to finding aids and further directions for planning visits.

The New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, located in Harlem, collects, preserves, and provides access to materials related to Black life in Africa and the African Diaspora (including the Americas). You can use the search tools listed above to start exploring the Schomburg's holdings. Five divisions comprise the center:

Worldcat is a union catalog that brings together the collections of over 72,000 libraries around the world. Search here for items held in other libraries.


Journal Articles

Bibliografía de la literatura Española desde 1980 provides citations for journal articles and books published between 1980 and the present, but covering time periods back to the Middle Ages. Topics covered include literary theory, literary genres, Hispanism, and popular literatures, along with critical and translated editions of literary works. Search interface and descriptive terms are in Spanish.

DialNet features scholarly journal articles from Spain and Latin America, in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. It also includes full-text doctoral dissertations from Spanish universities.

EBSCOHost serves as a platform to several databases in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Examples:

  • America: History and Life with Full Text indexes books and journal articles relating to the history of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present. Journal coverage dates from 1955 to the present; you can also find full-text coverage of over 200 journals and nearly 100 books here. 
  • Historical Abstracts with Full Text covers world history (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present. Provides indexing of historical articles from more than 1,800 journals in over 40 languages back to 1955. Also provides access to the full text of more than 349 journals and more than 120 books.
  • Humanities & Social Sciences Index Retrospective: 1907-1984

HAPI , also known as Hispanic American Periodicals Index, features citations to articles and book reviews in scholarly journals published in Latin America and the Caribbean, along with those dealing with topics relating to Latin America, the Caribbean and Latino/a Americans. Links to full-text are available for selected journals.

HLAS Online , also known as Handbook of Latin American Studies Online, is a project of the United States Library of Congress. It provides extensively annotated citations on Latin American studies research in all disciplines. You can search for content dating as far back as 1935.

Informe provides searchable full text access to the contents of Latin American journals alongside popular Latin American and Hispanic magazines and trade publications. Strong coverage of scholarship in the humanities.

Project MUSE provides full text scholarly journal articles, with citations and abstracts, from key sources in the humanities, with a special strength in literary studies. Content is updated daily, and coverage is extremely current. Users may browse journals by title and discipline, and may also search articles by their assigned Library of Congress Subject Headings.

Proquest combines many unique databases in one platform. You can search all at once, or select the databases you'd like to search. Some examples:

  • Arts and Humanities Full Text features citations and abstracts from scholarly sources in the humanities, as well as lesser known specialized magazines. Many of the entries are available in full text. Documents covered include articles, interviews, obituaries, bibliographies, original works of fiction, drama and poetry, book reviews, and reviews of performances, recordings, and films.
  • MLA International Bibliography features citations and abstracts to scholarly articles on literature, language, linguistics, and folklore from around the world, with e-links to possible full text provided. Sources include periodicals, books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations and bibliographies. Coverage spans 1923 to the present.
  • Periodicals Archive Online archives journals in humanities and social sciences from around the world, in full text, and going back as far as the late nineteenth century. The collection includes 99 journals in Spanish.

Red ALyC provides searchable full text content of over 500 journals published in Spain, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Portugal. RedALyC is an open access project.


Primary Sources: Digital Collections

Search these databases and digital repositories for access to literary texts, historical news articles, images, and other items that you might incorporate into your research as primary source material.

Arte Publico Hispanic Historical Collection: Series 1 is a digital collection of historical content pertaining to U.S. Hispanic history, literature, and culture, from colonial times until 1960. Documents include books, pamphlets, newspapers, photographs, illustrations, and advertisements. 

Biblioteca Digital Hispanica is a project of the National Library of Spain. It offers online access to books, manuscripts, drawings, prints, brochures, posters, photographs, maps and atlases, from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Through the search box, you can also cross-search archival sources from Europeana and Biblioteca Digital del Patrimonio Iberoamericano.

Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes has the world’s largest open access collection of digitized literary and historical texts in Spanish. You can also search the site for archival resources and critical work on major writers in Spanish. A project of the University of Alicante.

Digital Public Library of America serves as a portal to the digitized collections of various instutitions across the US, including millions of photographs, documents, books, audio materials, and moving images. The focus here is on images. You can search or browse items. 

FIHCAor Fondo de Imágenes Históricas de Ciudades Americanas, is a growing image bank specializing in photographs of Latin American cities during the period between 1850 and 1930. You can search for images or browse through them by geographic locale; look for the link that reads "Banco de Imágenes."

Hemeroteca Digital offers access to full color digitized historic Spanish newspapers and magazines, with well over 1000 titles in the collection. You can search the full text of these periodicals, or you can browse them by topic and title words. Coverage extends from the late 17th to the late 20th century.

Latin American Newspapers is a searchable archive of Latin American newspapers from the 19th and 20th centuries, including publications in both English and Spanish.

Latin American Pamphlet Collection features searchable digitized images of archival pamphlets from 19th and early 20th century Latin America. Countries most heavily represented include Chile, Bolivia, Cuba, and Mexico. The collection comprises over 5,000 titles.

Latin American Travelogues Digital Collection compiles accounts of travel in Latin America written between the 16th and 19th centuries. These travelogues are scanned in full color from their original volumes, and you can read them as you would electronic books, with a virtual page-turning effect. Content is browseable by country or geographical area. 

Latin American Women Writers includes full text works of prose, poetry and drama by Latin American women writers of the 19th century, in Spanish and Portuguese. You can browse works by author, place, or genre, or conduct advanced or full text searches of works represented.

PARES: Portal de Archivos Espanoles is a project of the Spanish Ministry of Culture for the diffusion in Internet of the Spanish Historical Documentation. The portal offers free access to fully digized Spanish historical documents, including government and legal sources.

Sabin Americana, 1500-1926 : Based on Joseph Sabin's landmark bibliography, this collection contains works about the Americas published throughout the world from 1500 to the early 1900's. Included are books, pamphlets, serials and other documents that provide original accounts of exploration, trade, colonialism, slavery and abolition, the western movement, Native Americans, military actions and much more.

Sur is a digital archive of Revista Sur, one of the most important literary journals in Latin American history. You can browse or search page images of the full content of Sur’s 364 issues published between 1931 and 1992. The journal features literature, literary criticism, and writings on film, theatre, art, music, history, and politics.

Local Collections

ArchiveGrid lets you keyword search collection descriptions from archives around the world. Entries provide contact information and links to relevant web sites. You can narrow your search to archives in the New York City area.

CLIO Archives allows you to search catalog collections for six Columbia University archives. The search combs through finding aids, collection descriptions, and available digital content. Collections comprise such sources as personal papers, ephemera, drawings, institutional records, and more.

NYPL: Find Archival Materials provides a comprehensive search of manuscript and archival collections across 10 divisions of the New York Public Library.


Web Resources

DOAJ , also known as the Directory of Open Access Journals, provides instant access to searchable full text scholarly journals. You can browse journals by title or subject; search functions are also available for authors, titles, keywords, and words within article abstracts.

LANIC , or Latin American Network Information Center, provides a comprehensive portal to web-based resources in Latin American Studies. Check out the literature page for access to journals, historical and critical works, and archival resources related to the literatures of Latin America and the Spanish speaking Caribbean.



Oxford Language Dictionaries: Spanish provides a fully searchable bilingual Spanish-English and English-Spanish dictionary online, with supplementary resources in Spanish language history, culture, and colloquialisms.

Oxford Bibliographies offers thoroughly researched annotated bibliographies of scholarly sources on a wide range of topics across disciplines. You may wish to try searches for theoretical frames, historical periods, or broad concepts.

Real Academia Española provides a strong collection of online Spanish language resources covering Spain and Latin America, including historic and regionally specific dictionaries and corpuses, among them:



Citing Your Sources

  • Citation management software allows you to manage your citations and save a lot of time! Most tools allow you to grab citations directly from CLIO, databases, and Google Scholar. Tip: While these tools can quickly generate bibliographies for you, double-check to make sure they're formatted the right way.
  • Cite Source from Trinity College Libraries shows you how to cite books, articles, tweets, podcasts, art works, blog posts, and more in th efollowing styles: ACS, APA, APSA, ASA, Chicago, and MLA.
  • Purdue University Online Writing Lab offers formatting and style guides for APA and MLA.

Additional Resources