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Arkansas State University

Latin America History: Home

This guide is intended to help you find both print and online Latin America history resources.

This guide is intended to help you find both print and online Latin America and Latin American history resources. This guide is only a starting point for your research, it is not meant to be a comprehensive list of resources. If you need further assistance, please visit the Service Desk in the library or contact your librarian, April Sheppard, at

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Scholarly and peer reviewed are your "academic" articles. These are the ones that deal directly with research, history, or theory. Most likely, your professor wants you to use these types of articles. These types of articles are written by scholars, experts in the field often associated with a university or an organization. Peer reviewed articles must also be approved by a group of scholars before being published to ensure that the research presented is factual and relevant. Not everyone can get peer reviewed.

Popular magazine articles are usually ones that you read for entertainment. These are usually the type of publications that you find at the grocery store checkout. Chances are if there's a celebrity on the cover, it's a popular magazine.

For a more in-depth look at the differences, please visit our Scholarly Journals guide.


All books in the library are arranged by subject using the Library of Congress classification system for call numbers and subject headings. The main call numbers begin with “C, E, & F”. The basic breakdown is as follows:

CT21 – CT9999 - Biography
E151 – E889 - United States
F1 – F975 - United States Local History (States)
F1201 – F3799     - Latin America. Spanish America
      F1201 – F1392 -      Mexico
      F1401 – F1419 -      Latin America (General)
      F1421 – F1577 -      Central America
      F1601 – F2151 -      West Indies
      F2155 – F2191 -      Caribbean
      F2201 – F3799 -      South America

The numbers that follow these beginning letters relate to the narrower scope of the item. For example, the call numbers F1441-1457 are for books specifically about Belize's history, such as, The Nature of an Ancient Maya City: Resources, Interaction, and Power at Blue Creek, Belize, F1435.1.B54 G83 2007.

Occasionally, a totally different call number will appear. This means the item is about more than history and higher importance was given to the other subject when the call number was assigned. For example, A Guide to the Frogs and Toads of Belize has the call number QL668.E2 M48 1996 which puts it in the subject of Zoology - but that doesn't mean it's not also a good book about Belize.


Databases with green All Full Text or partially green Partial Full Text icons offer some level of free, full-text articles. In most cases, you must be affiliated with A-State to view the article or on the A-State campus. If you find an article and the library doesn't have it, you may also request it through Interlibrary Loan for free. Articles requested through Interlibrary Loan can take 2-5 business days to come in, depending on the lending library. You can also digital scans from our physical collection through Digital Delivery.

To view all our History databases, click here.

To view all our databases, click here.


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Latin American History covers a wide range of topics. If you're having trouble coming up with a topic, here are some keywords you can use that might help you get started:

  • Agriculture
  • Caribbean
  • Central America
  • Civil Rights
  • Colonization
  • Hispanic Americans
  • History
  • Ibero-America
  • Identity
  • Immigration
  • International Relations
  • Latin America
  • Latino
  • Mesoamerica
  • Mexican Americans
  • Oral History
  • Politics
  • Preservation
  • Primary Sources
  • Religion
  • Revolution
  • Slavery
  • South America

If you want to combine keywords, use the connector AND between terms:

Slavery AND Caribbean

You can learn more about connectors in our Boolean Searching guide.


One of the things you may notice when you start researching Latin American history is the changing terminology. Many of us today use the term "Latin American" or "Latino/a," but that wasn't and isn't always the case.

As George I. Sánchez stated in 1967, "The people of in El Paso and California want to be called Mexican-Americans, the rest of the people in Texas want to be Latin-Americans, the people in New Mexico want to be Spanish-Americans." During this same time, Cesar Chavez spoke about Chicano experiences. 

Can you still find historical documents using just the term "Latin American"? Yes, you can - but this does not cover all of the rich history and terminology of Latin American history. Chances are if you just use the term "Latin American," you're going to be missing something. This is especially true with newspapers and other primary documents. You have to search the terms that the people of the time used.