Humanities & Social Sciences
Spanish Literatures and Language

Research Guide

Successful strategies to use when conducting library research:

  1. Become familiar with the library's home page and the wealth of resources available to you in print and electronic formats.
  2. Get to know your Librarian Subject Specialist.
  3. Know how to use interlibrary loan (ILL) and the Request function on the Harvest and Melvyl library catalogs.
  4. Take advantage of Pro-Cite or End-Note, the two major bibliographic management databases used at UC Davis.
  5. Attend specialized library instruction sessions.

Primary Sources include creative works, such as novels, poetry and theatre scripts. Unpublished materials (manuscripts, maps, artifacts, audio and video recordings, oral histories, photographs, and other visual images ) are considered primary sources. Original research published in journal articles and books is, in some instances, considered a primary source.

Secondary Sources synthesize and interpret primary materials. Secondary literature includes literary criticism and critical works, textbooks, journal articles and newspaper articles.

Myra Appel, Bibliographer
Latin American Studies and Spanish Literatures and Languages
Phone: (530) 752‑2002

Print guides (selected) to Resources in Spanish and Latin American literatures and languages

Bleznick, Donald W. A Sourcebook for Hispanic Literature and Language: A Selected, Annotated Guide to Spanish, Spanish-American, and United States Hispanic Bibliography, Literature, Linguistics, Journals, and Other Source Materials.
3rd ed. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, c1995
HSSGIS Reference PC4071 .B5 1995
Cobos, Ana Maria and Ana Lyer Sater. Latin American Studies: An Annotated Bibliography of Core Works.
North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2002.
F1408 C636 2002
Covington, Paula and David Block, eds. Latin America and the Caribbean: A Critical Guide to Research Sources.
New York: Greenwood Press, c1992.
HSSGIS Reference F1408 L364 1992
Gonzalez Echevarria, Roberto and Enrique Pupo-Walker, eds. The Cambridge History of Latin American Literature.
New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
HSSGIS Reference PQ7081 A1 C35 1966
Foster, David William, ed. Handbook of Latin American Literature.
2nd ed. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1992.
HSSGIS Reference PQ7081. A1 H36 1992
Marting, Diane E., ed. Women Writers of Spanish America: An Annotated Bio-Bibliographical Guide.
New York: Greenwood Press, 1987.
HSSGIS Reference PQ7081 W65 1987
Schneider, Marshall and Irwin Stern, eds. Modern Spanish and Portuguese Literatures.
New York: Continuum, 1988.
HSSGIS Reference PQ6072 M57 1988
Sole, Carlos A., ed. Latin American Writers.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988.
HSSGIS Reference PQ7081 A1 L37 1989
Woodbridge, Hensley C. Guide to Reference Works for the Study of the Spanish Language and Literature and Spanish American Literature.
2nd ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1997.
HSSGIS Reference PC4071 W66 1997.

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Major Spanish-language Dictionaries

Corominas, Joan. Diccionario Critica Etimologico Castellano e Hispanico.
Madrid: Editorial Gredos, c1980-1991.
HSSGIS Reference PC4580 .C6 1980
Diccionario de la Lengua Espanola (Real Academic Espanola).
Madrid: Real Academia Espanola, 1992.
HSSGIS Reference PC4625 .A3 1992
Real Academia Espanola. Diccionario Historico de la Lengua Espanola.
Madrid: Real Academia Espanola, 1960- .
HSSGIS Reference PC4580 . A3

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Tips for Searching Library Catalogs

To locate books, journals and unpublished materials, use library CATALOGS:

Harvest Library Catalog
Provides access to approximately 3 million records of all materials -- print, media and electronic -- held by the University of California, Davis Library.
Melvyl (
Provides access to over 30 million records of items -- print, media and electronic -- held by all the University of California libraries.
RLG Union Catalog
Offers access to the collections of major research libraries (academic, public, corporate and national); archives and museums; historical societies; and international book vendors. Sometimes referred to as the RLIN Bibliographic File. Contains records of many primary source collections.
OCLC catalog of millions of records for books, journals, media, archival collections, and internet sites input by over 12,000 libraries worldwide.

Tips to Use When Searching Library Catalogs (OPACs):

Search by AUTHOR:

  • Keyword search examples:
    1. Jose Lima Lezama
    2. Jose Orti y Moles
  • Browse or exact search examples:
    1. Lezama Lima, Jose (or try: Lima, Jose Lezama, if retrieval is small)
    2. Orti y Moles, Jose

Search by TITLE:

  • Keyword examples:
    1. historia novela mexicana
    2. comedias antiguas
  • Browse or exact search examples:
    1. Celestina (omit articles -- La, El, The, A, etc.)
    2. Bilingual grammar of English Spanish syntax

Search by TOPIC or SUBJECT:

  • Keyword examples:
    1. Argent? Literature
    2. Causative Spanish language
    3. Span? Theater
    4. Poetry Cuba
    5. Spanish Adverb?
  • Browse or exact search examples:
    1. Argentine literature history and criticism
    2. Spanish language causative
    3. Theater Chile history
    4. Latin America Intellectual life
    5. Spain History Civil War 1936-1939
    6. Mexico in literature
    7. Cuban poetry

Search by JOURNAL TITLE: (Restrict by journal format and search by either KEYWORD or BROWSE/EXACT search.)

  • Keyword examples:
    1. Hispanic American Review
    2. Chilena Literatura
  • Browse or exact search examples:
    1. Hispanic American historical review
    2. Revista Chilena de Literatura

NOTE: Library catalogs typically offer the option to limit, or restrict a search, to materials written in English, Spanish, or other languages.

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Locating Articles

To locate articles published in journals or periodicals, use abstract and index databases, e.g.:

MLA: The Modern Language Association International Bibliography - UC Davis IP Addresses Only
Includes over 1.5 million citations to international scholarly materials from over 3,000 journals, series, books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations, and bibliographies indexed by the Modern Language Association. Coverage ranges from 1963 to the present. .
PCI: Periodicals Contents Index - UC Davis IP Addresses Only
Covers millions of articles published in over 3935 periodicals in the humanities and social sciences and provides access to the full text articles of more than 200 complete journals. Coverage extends back to 1770 for some titles.
HAPI: HAPI Online - UC Davis IP Addresses Only
The searchable web version of the Hispanic American Periodicals Index. A source for authoritative, worldwide information about Central and South America, Mexico and the Caribbean, HAPI also provides coverage of the United States-Mexico border region and Hispanics in the United States. HAPI Online contains complete bibliographic citations to articles, book reviews, documents, original literary works, and other materials appearing in more than 400 international social science and humanities journals.
HLAS: The Handbook of Latin American Studies - UC Davis IP Addresses Only
A bibliography, consists of works selected and annotated by scholars. Edited by the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress, the Handbook alternates annually between coverage of the social sciences and the humanities. Annually, scholars select over 5,000 works written in many languages for inclusion in the Handbooks. Coverage ranges from 1935 to the present
LLBA: Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts - UC Davis IP Addresses Only
Presents articles from approximately 2,000 serials published around the world. Coverage extends from 1973 to the present.

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Locating Dissertations

To locate dissertations, use Dissertation Abstracts International: The online access provides citations and abstracts for every dissertation in the Dissertation Abstracts database offering coverage from 1861 to the present. Since 1997, partial full-text access is free to UC patrons accessing University of California dissertations.

To locate newspapers, try the following databases:

One of the largest web-based full text databases for current news, including book reviews, interviews, and articles about contemporary literary topics. Provides full-text access to nearly 6,000 U.S. and foreign newspapers and to transcripts of television and radio news programs.
Newsbank Full Text Newspapers
Provides full-text access to several major national newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post.

Other useful newspaper indexes and full-text databases include the National Newspaper Index, the New York Times via Proquest Historical Newspapers, and Ethnic Newswatch.

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Locating Biographical and Overview Information

To locate biographical information and overview articles about an author, a literary genre, or major works, try the following electronic databases:

Gale Literary Index
The master index to the literature series published by the Gale Group, including the series Hispanic Literature Criticism, Hispanic Writers, and Latin American Writers, in addition to several series on world literature, literary biographies, and contemporary authors.
Gale Literature Resource Center
Provides full-text biographies, bibliographies, and critical analyses of authors from every age and literary discipline. The database combines core literary resources such as Contemporary Authors, Contemporary Literary Criticism Select, and the Dictionary of Literary Biography. Gale Literary Index is a sub-set of the Literature Resource Center. Searches can be limited to country, genre, literary movement, time period, themes and other criteria.
Britannica Online
Provides access to the full-text content of the Encyclopedia Britannica, selected classic articles from earlier editions, the Britannica Book of the Year, and an Internet Directory of sites reviewed by Britannica editors.

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