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Latin American Studies: Primary Sources

An interdisciplinary view of resources on the modern Latin American world, including history, literature, politics, news, and culture.

Digital Collections

By Country/Region

  • Arquivo Público do Estado de São Paulo (Portuguese):  O Arquivo Público do Estado de São Paulo - APESP - disponibiliza em seu Repositório Digital documentos, álbuns, fotografias, periódicos, livros, jornais, revistas, mapas, entre outros.
  • Brasiliana Eletrônica (Portuguese): This collection, originally edited by the Companhia Editora Nacional from 1931 to 1993, includes 415 books treating Brazil by Brazilian and foreign authors in fields of History, Sociology, Anthropology and Natural History, among others.
  • Brazilian Government Documents (Portuguese/Língua gestual portuguesa)Digital collection of executive branch serial documentsissued by Brazil’s national government between 1821 and 1993, including presidential reports and messages, the Almanak of the Brazilian Royal Court, and ministerial reports. Project carried out by the Center for Research Libraries' Latin American Materials Project (LAMP).
  • Arquivo Nacional (Portuguese/Língua gestual portuguesa)The National Archive of Brazil has databases for the following collections:Sistema de Informações do Arquivo Nacional, Acervo Judiciário, Entrada de Estrangeiros no Brasil, Família Ferrez, Memórias Reveladas, Movimentação de Portugueses no Brasil (1808 - 1842), História da Holanda e Holandeses no Brasil, Ofício de Notas da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro, Processos do Supremo Tribunal Federal, do Supremo Tribunal da Justiça e da Casa da Suplicação, Biblioteca Maria Beatriz Nascimento, and SECOM (Serviço de Comunicações, 1940-1959).
  • Instituto Brasileiro de Geografía e Estatística (IBGE) (Portuguese/Língua gestual portuguesa):  The IBGE digital library has digitized government reports, historical photos, data (GIS), and more pertaining to Brazilian geography and statistics.
  • Abdias Nascimento Collection (Portuguese):  Documents, images, videos, plays, articles, and poetry connected to Abdias Nascimento (1914-2011), an Afro-Brazilian artist, scholar, and politician. He founded the Black Experimental Theater in 1944 and later became the first Afro-Brazilian elected to the Senate in Brazil.
  • Biblioteca de literaturas de língua portuguesa (Portuguese):  Brazilian and Portuguese works of literature fully digitized and freely accessible online.
  • Biblioteca Nacional do Brasil - Acervo Digital (Portuguese/Língua gestual portuguesa):The National Library of Brazil has digitized 1.8 million documents and counting.
  • Domínio Público - Biblioteca Virtual do Ministério da Educação do Brasil (Portuguese/Língua gestual portuguesa):  Open access portal sponsored by the Brazilian government geared at promoting access to Brazilian literary, artistic, and academic works, as well as music and audio.
  • Folha de São Paulo (Portuguese): This online archive contains issues of the Brazilian daily newspaper from 1921 to the present.
  • Memórias reveladas (Portuguese/Língua gestual portuguesa):  Database of documents drawing from a variety of archives that unveil the human rights violations of the dictatorship of 1964-1985.
  • Caribbean Newspaper Digital Library (English)CNDL provides access to digitized versions of Caribbean newspapers, gazettes, and other research materials on newsprint currently held in archives, libraries, and private collections.

  • Biblioteca Nacional Digital de Chile (Spanish) The National Library of Chile has digitized more than 165,000 objects in its collections, in addition to "Memoria Chilena," a project consisting of 770-plus works on Chilean history and culture.
  • Servicio Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural - Colecciones digitales (Spanish/English) Digitization project of Chile's Dirección de Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos (DIBAM). Thematic areas include: Archeology, Art, Artisanry, Natural Sciences, Conservation, Education, Photography, Gender, History, Literature, Museums, Music, Indigenous Cultures, and Religion.
  • Retablo de Literatura Chilena (Universidad de Chile) (Spanish) Provides some full-text works of major Chilean authors. Pablo Neruda, Gabriela Mistral, Nicanor Parra, and Vicente Huidobro.
  • Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos - Biblioteca Digital (Spanish/English) Digitized texts, manuscripts, photographs, iconography, objects, videos, and audio recordings aimed at giving visibility to the human rights violations committed under the Pinochet Dictatorship in Chile (1973-1990).
  • Cantos Cautivos (Spanish/English) Cantos Cautivos is an archive of music sung and heard in political detention and torture centres in Chile during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). The memory of these experiences is an important fragment of the lives of those who resisted, fought and shared their stories for this project.
  • Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos - Archivo de Fondos y Colecciones (Spanish) Archives related to human rights violations committed under the Pinochet Dictatorship in Chile (1973-1990).

  • Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia - Biblioteca Digital (Spanish/English) The National Library of Colombia has searchable digital collections including the following thematic areas: authors, Bogotá, musical documentation, audiovisual holdings, photographs, historical photographs of Cartagena de Indias, graphic holdings, newspapers, pre-modern and modern books, the Ministry of Culture, Historical Archive of Medellín, and Instituto Caro y Cuervo.

 

  • Biblioteca Digital Cubana (Spanish) Portal to digitized content for the study of Cuba with links to libraries, general archives, and newspaper, map, and photographic archives.
  • Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) Digital Collections (English):  Digitized manuscripts, photographs, letters, maps and other resources held in the University of Miami Libraries rich Cuban Heritage Collection.
  • Digital Aponte (English) A site dedicated to the life and work of José Antonio Aponte, a free man of color, carpenter, artist, and alleged leader of a massive antislavery conspiracy and rebellion in colonial Cuba in 1811-1812. In this website, you can read an annotated version of the trial record of Aponte’s descriptions of the “book of paintings" and visit the image gallery to investigate the visual culture of turn of the nineteenth-century Havana.
  • Granma Archives Index (English/Spanish): The Granma Archives Index is a searchable Spanish-language data base of articles published from 1965 to 1992 in the official daily newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party, Granma. Current issues of Granma
  • La Agencia Informativa Latinoamericana Prensa Latina (Spanish/English): Online newspaper of La Agencia Informativa Latinoamericana Prensa Latina (PL), founded in La Habana, Cuba in June 1959. The agency has offices all over Latin America.

  • CIRMA: Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica (Spanish) CIRMA has two digital collections: Fototeca Guatemala and Archivo Histórico.
  • AHPN: Digital Archive of the Guatemalan National Police Historical Archive (English/Spanish)The discovery of the National Police Historical Archive in 2005 opened an extensive and timely resource for the study of Guatemalan history and human rights in the region. This site currently includes over 10 million scanned images of documents from the National Police Historical Archive.

  • Biblioteca Digital Mexicana (BDMx) (Spanish) La Biblioteca Digital Mexicana, BDMx, es una plataforma digital multi-institucional: El Archivo General de la Nación, La Biblioteca Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH), el Centro de Estudios de Historia de México CEHM- Carso, y el Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes.
  • Códices de México (Spanish) Digitalización de los códices antiguos resguardados en la Biblioteca Nacional de Antropología e Historia de México.
  • Digital Collection of Mexican and Argentine Presidential Messages (English/Spanish) The Presidential Messages database is a collection of digital full text presidential messages of Argentina and Mexico from the early 19th century to the present. There are plans to add the presidential messages of other countries in the future.
  • Escritos de mujeres (Spanish) La colección Escritos de Mujeres siglos XVI al XVIII tiene como propósito poner a disposición del público lector, en cuidadas ediciones, las obras que escribieron las mujeres de aquella época.
  • Guía de memorias de Hacienda de México (Spanish) This database of government reports of Mexican haciendas from 1822 to 1910 is one of the most important qualitative and quantitative sources of information about the public administration of Mexico in the 19th century.
  • The Maya Hieroglyphic Codices (English) This site features a searchable translation and analysis of four codices (screenfold books) painted by Maya scribes before the Spanish conquest in the early 16th century. The codices contain information about Maya beliefs and rituals, as well as everyday activities, all framed within an astronomical and calendrical context.
  • Mesolore (Spanish/English) Mesolore is a bilingual resource for scholars and students of Mesoamerica (Nahua & Ñudzavui). It Includes 3 interactive 16th-century indigenous documents from Central Mexico and 3 from Oaxaca, plus archives of alphabetic documents from the 1520s to the 1960s, introductory tutorials on indigenous writing and culture in Central Mexico and Oaxaca, an interactive Atlas of Mesoamerica, and video and audio commentaries by Scholars on Mesoamerica’s past and present.
  • A Nation Emerges: 65 Years of Photography in Mexico (Primarily English) Photographs of Mexico from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century from the special collections of the Getty Research Institute.
  • Sabino Osuna Photographs of the Mexican Revolution (Primarily English) Glass plate negatives, photographs, and lantern slides of the Mexican Revolution taken by photographer Sabino Osuna. Includes images of Francisco Madero, Victoriano Huerta, Alvaro Obregón, Emiliano Zapata, and Pancho Villa, as well as street warfare during La Decena Trágica. Digitized by the UC Riverside Libraries. 
  • Ticha: A Digital Text Explorer for Colonial Zapotec (Spanish/English) Ticha allows users to access and explore many interlinked layers of texts from a corpus of Colonial Valley Zapotec manuscripts and printed books, including images of the original documents, transcriptions, translations, and linguistic analysis, including morphological interlinearization.
  • Memoria Centroamericana (IHNCA) (Spanish) Project of the Instituto de Historia de Nicaragua y Centroamérica (IHNCA). The mission of Memoria Centroamericana is to make available the most important Central American historical, literary, visual and audio documents in digital form to the general public.
  • El sitio de Guaman Poma (Det Kongelige Bibliotek) (Spanish/English) Digital facsimile of Guaman Poma de Ayala’s autograph manuscript of “El Primer Nueva Corónica y Buen Gobierno,” a highly unique 17th-century manuscript. The "Corónica" is one of the few full-length books produced by an Indian in colonial Spanish America, and is particularly noteworthy for its biting critiques of the Spanish colonial administration and elaborate illustrations. The website includes annotated transcriptions alongside the images of the illustrated manuscript.
  • Arquivo Histórico Ultramarino - DigitArq (English/Spanish): Digitized documents from the Historical Overseas Archive of Portugal, which is dedicated to the history of Portuguese maritime colonization, exploration, trade, and travel.
  • Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo - DigitArq (English/Spanish): Digitized documents held in the National Archive of Portugal, which includes holdings about or produced in Brazil and the wider Lusophone world.
  • CENTRO Puerto Rican Studies Center Digital Collections (English) A place where researchers, academics, teachers, students, genealogists, filmmakers, and the community at large find primary (historical documents) and secondary sources about the history and culture of the Puerto Rican diaspora.
  • Puerto Rican Citizenship Archives Project (English) The United States annexed Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War of 1898 and has since governed the island as an unincorporated territory. Since 1898, Congress has debated upwards of 100 bills and enacted 11 laws extending four distinct types of citizenship to Puerto Rico. This website provides a documentary history of the federal citizenship legislation for Puerto Rico.
  • Real Academia de la Historia - Biblioteca Digital (Spanish): Portal to all the digitized archives of the Spanish State, including those pertaining to the governance of Latin America & the Caribbean in the age of Spanish Empire.
  • PARES (Spanish): The catalog for Spain’s National Archives, including digitized documents for Spain and the Spanish world.
  • Borderlands Archives Cartography (English) Dedicated to locating, digitizing, and facilitating the access of nineteenth and mid-twenty periodicals from the U.S.-Mexico borderlands through a digital map and other data visualization platforms.
  • CENTRO Puerto Rican Studies Center Digital Collections (English) A place where researchers, academics, teachers, students, genealogists, filmmakers, and the community at large find primary (historical documents) and secondary sources about the history and culture of the Puerto Rican diaspora.
  • Chicana Diasporic (English) Chicana Diasporic, A Nomadic Journey of the Activist Exiled, is a media rich, annotated Scalar research hub that highlights a political/ideological journey of the women of the Chicana Caucus of the National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC) from 1973 to 1979. Presented in a museum collection format, this interdisciplinary exploration of the Chicana Caucus includes speeches, correspondence, event posters, photographs, filmed interview clips, an introductory narrative and timeline that defines the Caucus’ history, structure and purpose, and their national impact on 1970s second wave feminism.
  • Herman Baca Collection - Chicano Rights Activism (English) The papers of Herman Baca, a National City, California, Chicano rights activist and prominent member of the Mexican-American community, document the contributions and accomplishments made by Herman Baca and the Committee on Chicano Rights. Digitized by the UC San Diego Library.
  • The Latina History Project (English): LHP is a faculty-student research project that aims to enhance undergraduate education and provide resources on Latina/o and Chicana/o history in the Central Texas region. The LHP collects oral histories from past and present members of Southwestern community as well as several activists, including key figures in the Chicana/o Movement in Texas.
  • Onda Latina: The Mexican American Experience (English) The Onda Latina Collection consists of 226 digitally preserved audio programs including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns from the radio series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.
  • A Visual History of Chicano/a Literature (English):Provides users with a quick index to the history of Chicana/o literature. Unlike traditional bibliographies, this page relies on images of book covers in order to familiarize users with creative books by Chicanas/os.
  • Hispanic American Newspapers (English/Spanish): The single largest compilation of Spanish-language newspapers printed in the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries. Coverage: 1800-1980.
  • Portuguese-American Digital Newspaper Collection (English): Text-searchable archive of Portuguese-American newspapers from the 19th to 21st centuries, hosted by UMass Dartmouth.
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Film & Video Archives

Historical Collections