Latin American and Caribbean History


Your assignments at university are an invitation to join a scholarly conversation by exploring topics in depth, formulating a unique research question, examining the research of others along with primary sources, building an argument, and drawing your own conclusions.  A good research topic is one that sparks your interest and allows you to ask new questions in order to find meaningful answers. This guide is intended to help you get started.

Pick a research topic

  • Read your assignment instructions carefully
  • Try to pick a topic that interests you and meets the assignment criteria
  • Identify key concepts of your research topic
  • Do some background reading on your topic using Wikipedia

Use dictionaries and encyclopedias to find overviews, authoritative definitions, critical perspectives and useful bibliographies.

Writing Guides

Begin with the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sources overview.

Searching for primary sources:

Search your topic (or historical person of interest) using the library's main search box to find primary sources (or reproductions) in our collection. Keyword searches that include the following terms will identify primary materials most of the time.

  • Diar* (for diary or diaries)
  • Correspondence
  • Letters
  • Memoir
  • Personal narrative
  • Recollections
  • Reminiscences
  • Journal
  • Sources

 Other search tips:

Historical Newspaper Databases

Primary Sources on the web

Primary Sources by country

Other libraries with significant primary source collections:

  • Center for Research Libraries (CRL) - Search the Centre for Research Libraries catalogue by country to find historical newspapers for individual countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Items can be ordered through your RACER account. See also the Latin American Studies Topic Guide.


Films and Videos

Content last updated: May 26, 2020