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Latin American Studies

The University of California, San Diego Library has an extensive collection of Latin American and Caribbean research materials, including a significant number of unique items. Holdings include more than 134,000 print monographs and 4,000 print serial titles, including considerable current subscriptions. It is also notable that UCSD collects and microfilms the Tijuana newspaper Zeta and El Financiero, which is the Mexican equivalent of the Wall Street Journal -- or Mexico’s Financial Newspaper of Record. In fact, UCSD provides the Library of Congress’s copy of El Financiero. The collection has significant holdings in other formats, including over 350 CD-ROMS, 1,300 DVDs, 1,400 microfiche and 1,100 microfilm collections, 100 music scores, 2,100 sound recordings, and 570 videos. UCSD also counts an ever-increasing number of electronic or digital resources, and 26,000 online media items (including serials, ebooks and films provided via one-off purchase and package subscriptions).

This comprehensive and interdisciplinary Latin American and Caribbean collection features research materials from the entire Latin American and Caribbean region and all disciplines. Countries with particularly strong collections include Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Central America, especially El Salvador. Disciplinary and thematic strengths include the History of the Americas; Latin American and Caribbean literature in Spanish, Portuguese, and Indigenous languages; Spanish and Portuguese (Iberian) Literature; Social Science research in business, industry and finance; agriculture and land use, labor, political science (with notable concentrations in political institutions, public administration, and elections), social reform and welfare, criminology and law, and women and gender. Holdings in indigenous literature include materials in many languages in a range of dialects -- including but not limited to: Aymara, Maya, Mixtec, Mapuche, Nahua, Quechua and Zapotec.

Special Collections of Latin Americana include artists books; manuscript and published cookbooks; facsimiles of pre-Columbian codices; art and literature (including those produced by indigenous peoples); political ephemera and propaganda (including pamphlets and posters); and photographs, films, manuscripts and papers (including correspondence) associated with art exhibitions, academics, creative writers, filmmakers, activists, and businesses connected to Latin American and LatinX/Hispanic-American issues and peoples.

UCSD Special Collections and Archives provides a searchable list of finding aids, many of which point to Latin American materials.

Digitization has made many of UCSD’s special collections more widely accessible through UCSD Digital Collections. See the UC San Diego Library Digital Collections Research Guide for tips on how to search.

Digital Collections with Latin American or LatinX/Hispanic-American content include:

  • Armed Revolutionary Organizations in Mexico (Printed and manuscript materials created between 1965 and 1998 by 23 distinct revolutionary groups in Mexico. The collection is particularly strong in ephemeral communiques and revolutionary periodicals such as "13 de junio," "Madera" and "Militante." Images were digitized from originals held by the UC San Diego Library).  See also the Colegio de Mexico's complementary collection Movimientos Armados en Mexico.

  • Baja California (Images of Baja California digitized from original photographs by Harry Crosby, Howard Gulick, and Marquis McDonald).
  • Harry Crosby Photographs (Includes photographs of Baja California, 1967-1962 and Sonora, Mexico, 1958-1986).

  • Herman Baca (A selection of documents illustrating the work and activities of Chicano activist Herman Baca and the Committee on Chicano Rights, 1964-2006).

  • The Insite Archive (Materials documenting the inSite organization and the projects of its artists (1992-2006).  Created as a network of contemporary art programs and commissioned projects among non-profit and public institutions, inSite explored public or contextual art practice in the specific context of the San Diego-Tijuana border region. In 1980, Installation Gallery was opened in San Diego with a goal to present local and regional artists. In 1992, inSite was formed, replacing Installation Gallery. InSite has had five major versions: inSITE92, inSITE94, inSITE97, inSITE2000, and inSite_05). 

  • Latin American Political Campaign Ephemera Collection (Pamphlets, posters, other campaign materials from various Latin American countries, 1990s-2009).

  • Marquis McDonald Photographs (Photographs by Marquis McDonald during a 1949-1950 overland trip down the Baja California Peninsula).

  • The Mexican Broadsides (Broadsides (single and double-sided, one-sheet documents) produced in Mexico between the early 1600s and 1899. They include religious and government documents on a wide range of topics. The government documents include correspondence between representatives from a range of state and federal agencies, gubernatorial and presidential administrations, and state and national legislatures).

  • Pueblos Yucatecos (Audio interviews, transcriptions, and photographs related to life in 5 rural Maya communities in the state of Mexico between the early 20th and early 21st centuries).
  • The Spanish Civil War Collection (Includes content related to the experiences of Spanish exiles in Latin America).

In addition, three web-based resources are preserved in the Internet Archive: 

For suggestions on searching and navigating this collection see UCSD Library’s Latin American Studies Research Guide.

Prepared by Anabel Gutierrez and Sarah Buck Kachaluba, April 2021