For a directory of archives in Spain and Latin America, see the Censo-Guía de Archivos de España y Ibero-América produced by Spain's Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport.
The Alfredo Montalvo Bolivian Digital Pamphlets Collection, Cornell University
World Newspaper Archive - Latin America: From the Center for Research Libraries Global Resources Network. Temporal coverage: 1822-1922.
Primary and Secondary Sources
Historical researchers investigate the past using both primary and secondary sources.
Primary Sources can be defined as anything representing a first-hand account of an event or time in history. These sources can be published or unpublished.
Examples of Primary Sources
Secondary sources are scholarly books or articles that are based on an examination of primary sources, the author's reading of other secondary works, or a combination of both.
Examples of Secondary Sources
When searching for primary sources in the library keep in mind these three points:
1. The more remote in time your research topic, the fewer primary sources will be available.
2. To a considerable extent, researchers in the pre-twentieth-century era are hampered by a lack of tools (indexes and bibliographies) to facilitate their search.
3. Political, constitutional and diplomatic history are the most extensively documented subfields; primary sources for social history can be more difficult to locate.
To find digitized primary sources, you can search the databases and links to archival collections listed in box to the left.
In general, to find published primary source material, you should use a subject word search or an exact subject phrase in BobCat for your topic, and add the terms:
Examples of Library of Congress subject headings related to the Andean History include:
Examples of published primary sources
The North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) Archive on Microfilm is available at the New School. Details on the contents of the microfilm is as follows:
Audio-visual primary source material (available via ILL from the Center for Research Libraries):
Also, keep in mind full text source material available via Google Books. For example, see the advanced search option on Google Books and look up the following:
Reference Books covering Andean History
In general, reference books in history are designed to do one of the following:
1. provide specific facts or data in short, factual entries (dictionaries, almanacs, chronologies)
2. offer general background information or summarize scholarship on a particular topic in longer interpretive articles (encyclopedias, handbooks)
3. provide references to past or recent scholarship on a particular topic (bibliographies, guides to the literature). Major sources of this type can be quite broad and offer references on a variety of historical fields; many specialized bibliographies are also available on a single region, person or topic.
Of course, some reference books may serve more than one function: a handbook may summarize scholarship and also provide a selected bibliography.
See the General Reference Works tab for recommended reference works. In general, to find reference works, you should use a subject word search or an exact subject phrase in BobCat for your topic, and add the terms: Encyclopedia, Bibliography, Handbook, Sources, etc.
For example, a search for "Andes Region -- History -- Sources" yields:
BobCat allows users to search for books by author, title, subject or any combination of these. When searching for books by topic, use the "subject" or "subject word" search.
Bobcat allows both a "subject word" search and a "keyword" search. The "subject word" search looks for your terms within the subject headings. The "keyword" search looks for your terms within all parts of the record (including the author, title, and subject heading).
Typically, articles deal with a more focused or narrow topic than books, they reveal current research interests, and are at times a forum for initial publication or reexamination of a specific primary source.
In order to find articles, you need to use an Index. Most indexes are now available on the web. Key indexes for research in Latin American history are listed below.