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
- If you need extra help, click on Choosing an essay topic
- Do some background reading on your topic using Wikipedia
- Using Wikipedia wisely (video)
Use dictionaries and encyclopedias to find overviews and authoritative definitions
- Encyclopedia of contemporary Latin American and Caribbean cultures
- Encyclopedia of Latin America (print only)
- Encyclopedia of Latin American and Caribbean Literature, 1900-2003
- Encyclopedia of U.S. - Latin American relations
- The A to Z of ancient Mesoamerica
- A Political and economic dictionary of Latin America
- Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sources overview.
Searching for primary sources using Omni:
Search your topic (or historical person of interest) using Omni, the library's main search box to find primary sources (or reproductions) in our collection. Keyword searches that include the following terms will help identify primary materials.
- Diar* (for diary or diaries)
- Personal narrative
Other primary source search tips:
- Consult bibliographies and footnotes of secondary sources on your topic to help identify primary source material.
- Consult this book: History beyond the text: a student's guide to approaching alternative sources
- Original documents can also be found by searching our archival collections or by contacting the Archives and Special Collections (ASC) staff for help.
- The library has many microform collections of primary sources as well, please ask for assistance.
Historical Newspaper Databases:
Primary Sources on the web
- Archives and Primary Sources Databases
- Digital Public Library of America
- Internet Archive
- Hathi Trust Digital Library
- Latin American Pamphlet Digital Collection
- Library of Congress Digital Collections
- National Archives (UK)
- New York Public Library Digital Collections
- RUSA Primary Sources on the web guide
Primary Sources by country
- Archivo General de la Nacion
- Arquivo Nacional
- Archivo de Lucas Alaman - more than 300 Spanish language documents regarding colonial Mexico
- Biblioteca Digital Hispanica - digital collections from the National Library of Spain includes
- Bracero history archive
- Latin American and Caribbean Databank (World Bank)
- Center for Research Libraries (CRL) - Search CRL by country to find historical newspapers for individual countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Items can be requested through your RACER account.
- African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica/Jamaica Memory Bank
- Bibliografia Mesoamerican
- Castro Speech Database LANIC - Latin American Network Information Centre (University of Texas)
- Country Study: Commonwealth of Caribbean Islands (Library of Congress)
- Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC)