Spanish Language

If you're not sure where to start your research this guide will point you to some of the best starting points. Don't forget, you can always get in touch directly with any questions you may have. For Spanish language course listings and descriptions see the undergraduate calendar.

The following is just a small selection of the books we have on Spanish Language.
NOTE: you can request print books through our Curbside Pick-up service 

Another good source of language learning material, because they cater to a multilingual public, is the Ottawa Public Library. Anyone living in Ottawa can make use of their resources




Reading Books in Spanish

  • collection of free e-books in Spanish, includes novels, short stories...
  • Online Spanish Books for Free - this blog post has links to many sites hosting free Spanish books. They are aimed at children, but may be useful for beginner learners
  • Internet Archive: many out of copyright works available for free. Search for a specific work, or in the advanced search you can add a custom field: language and specify Spanish
  • Our own collection of literature is mostly in print, and is mostly from literary authors 
    • You can look up a specific title of a book, or you can see all the works we have by a given author by going to the Advanced Search screen, changing the "any field" to "author/creator" and looking up the author by last name, first name:
      advanced search screen showing a search for Garcia Marquez, Gabriel
    • When you are looking at the full record for a particular book, you will see a virtual browse function at the bottom of the screen: this is quite useful for literature since all of the books BY a certain author, and ABOUT an author are found in the same area and you can use the arrows on screen to browse through titles. You will notice that English translations of Spanish texts will usually be found beside the original Spanish
      shows display of book jackets of books by call number that you can browse through virtually



Scholarly journal articles

  • Omni: our easy-to-use search tool, right on the Library home page  OR
  • You can search some of our other recommended databases: 

News & Magazine Sources

We subscribe to a number of databases that have the full text of newspapers and other news sources from around the world

  • Factiva full text news from around the world. Some important notes for finding material in Spanish
    • Note that the default date limit is "in the last 3 months", so change as needed
    • You can choose a specific source to search, example: El Mundo
      factiva search box showing date area and selection of a specific source
    • You can choose to search news sources from a specifc city, country or region. example: South America
    • Very important: Remove the default language= English and add language = Spanish
      factiva search screen showing selection of a region and language field
  • Nexis Uni - you can do a keyword search in Spanish and then filter results to specific regions or specific sources. All dates are included by default
  • Press Reader - access over 5000 newspapers and magazines from over 100 countries. 90 day backfile only. Language or country can be selected from menu on the left. For example, there are over 100 titles from Argentina and almost 300 from Spain
  • BBC World Service- Mundo
  • Radio Canada Internacional - news in Spanish from Canada


Our Collection:

  • Do a Keyword search in Omni.
  • Once you get your results, limit the "Resource Type" to "videos" . (NOTE: you will probably have to click on the "Show More"  to see the video options)
  • Limit the language to Spanish
  • If you only want to see videos available via online streaming, limit the "Availability" to "Available online"
  • You can request physical DVDs through our  Curbside Pick-up service.
    Showing the Videos Resource Type filter, and the availability filter


  • We also have 2 streaming video database you can search

Free Video Sources

  • YouTube: you can find a huge amount of free videos
  • Internet Archive: search by topic and then limit results using filters: media type = movies & language=spanish
  • Destinos: this is a telenovela (Spanish soap opera) created specfically to help with learning Spanish. 52 half-hour episodes. 
  • Spanish Internet Television : links to the websites of a huge number of Spanish language television stations where videos can be watched
  • Telemundo: Spanish language TV channel
  • BBC World Service- Mundo- Video:  news related videos in Spanish from the BBC
  • BBC Learning - Spanish: now an archived site, but has videos plus a lot of other material for learning Spanish

Listening to Spanish music and following along with lyrics, can be a great way to improve your language skills, especially with pronunciation. Listening to audio podcasts is another way to get your ear familiar with rhythm, tone, flow of a language


  • Radio Canada International - Espanol podcasts
  • NPR has a number of podcasts in Spanish. Meant more for intermediate to advanced learners
    • Radio Ambulante - optionally (for a fee) you can download the Lupa app that works with this program to scaffold the language: follow with transcripts, click on highlighted words for translation, slow down speed. 
    • Latino USA
    • Alt.Latino - focus on arts and culture
  • Doorway to Mexico - 22 episodes, free to listen (extra material available for a fee)
  • Palabras Bravas - from Babbel, created for language learners, intermediate level with some help guides. Season 1 is a five-episode storytelling series that follows three roommates living in Madrid.
  • 9 Great Spanish Podcasts... detailed descriptions of podcasts, describing content and level
  • And so many more: search your favorite podcast hosting app for Spanish Language resources


Curate your own list, or discover Spanish language music using your preferred way of listening to music, here are some examples:

Music lyrics

Content last reviewed: January 29, 2021