Culturas Hispánicas

Getting Started

These authoritative  sources are helpful for providing background information.  Bibliographies help you identify major sources.

Oxford Bibliographies Online
Offers peer-reviewed annotated bibliographies on specific topics
[For example: medieval studies; printing in Latin America; Muslim Spain; Inquisition]

  • Nesvig, Martin Austin. "Printing and the Book". In Oxford Bibliographies Online: Latin American Studies. 21-Sep-2014.

Cambridge Histories Online  [search entire collection]

Cambridge History of Spanish Literature

Cambridge History of Latin America, Colonial Latin America volume 1; volume 2

World Biographical Index + Full Text
Provides access to biographical articles excerpted from a wide range of sources, mostly published in Latin America and/or Iberia.  Excellent for historical figures that are not widely covered elswhere.


See Also other Subject Guides:

Locating Early Printed Books

despertados Despertado[r] de peccado[r]es, Printed in Burgos, 1541.


Library Catalogs

CLIO--Columbia's Catalog

Rare and early imprints may not have as much descriptive information as newer books.  

Browse CLIO for books in Spanish and within a specific date of publication

*Do a blank search in CLIO (while leaving the search box empty, click on search)

*Limit by date (1500-1700) and language (Spanish)

*Limit by format (Select ONLINE if you wish to see what's available digitally;  Or to see printed versions, first select Online, and then select NOT ONLINE in the box that displays on top of the page)  See this search

Hathi Trust
Access to digitized books from major research libraries, including the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Catálogo Colectivo de Impresos Latinoamericanos hasta 1851 (CCILA)

CCILA) is an ongoing effort to catalog the printed heritage of Latin America and the Philippines before 1851. As a bibliography, it provides a census of surviving works. As a union catalog, CCILA will list institutional holdings for those works and will endeavor to identify microfilm and digital surrogates. It is a large-scale cooperative effort, designed to involve every library in Europe, the Americas, or the Philippines possessing relevant materials.

Printed Bibliographies and Lists;  search for titles in CLIO or WorldCat

Many early imprints and rare books may not be cataloged, or may be difficult to find in catalog searching.  These major bibliographies list many of the early published works in the Americas.  You can search specific titles or authors in CLIO or in WorldCat to determine whether a particular work is available in a library near you.

Manual del librero hispano-americano; bibliografía general española e hispano-americana desde la invención de la imprenta hasta nuestros tiempos, con el valor comercial de los impresos descritos.

Medina, José Toribio, Biblioteca hispanoamericana, 1493-1810 [online] and in Butler Reference

Using the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Columbia

The RBML is open to all researchers from the Columbia community and the public.  Follow a simple process to register and set up a research account.  Once registered, you can request items.  All materials must be used on-site in the RBML and do not circulate.

See the RBML website for information about using the library.

Digital Collections

early imprint Aquí comiença un vocabulario en la lengua castellana y mexicana. From Primeros Libros database.


Los Primeros Libros de las Américas, Impresos Americanos del siglo XVI en las Bibliotecas del Mundo.  Collection of digitized 16th century books from Latin America, taken from the collections of major libraries throughout the world.

European Views of the Americas, 1493-1750  This bibliographic database is a valuable index for libraries, scholars and individuals interested in European works that relate to the Americas.

The Making of the Modern World, 1450-1850
Provides full-text and full-page-image access to books from the 1450-1850 period. Focus is on texts related to economic and historical themes.

Sabin Americana, 1500-1926
"Based on Joseph Sabin's landmark bibliography, this collection contains works about the Americas published throughout the world from 1500 to the early 1900's. Included are books, pamphlets, serials and other documents that provide original accounts of exploration, trade, colonialism, slavery and abolition, the western movement, Native Americans, military actions and much more.

Biblioteca Digital Hispánica, Biblioteca Nacional de España.
Digital collections of the National Library of Spain, includes imprints from the XV to XIX centuries, and incunabula (pre-1500 printed books/pamphlets).

Finding Scholarly Articles


Coverage of Latin America and Iberia

Handbook of Latin American Studies

HLAS Online (Coverage: 1936 - present)
HLAS Web (Coverage: 1990 - present)
An annotated, authoritative bibliography on Latin America since 1936, The Handbook of Latin American Studies is edited by the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress. It covers books and published reports in addition to journal articles. The tables of contents from print volume 50 (1990) to the present may be browsed.

Bases de datos Bibliográficas del CSIC  
The Bases de Datos del CSIC contain three databases that index Spanish journals and conference papers. ISOC - 1970 to present; contains nine subdatabases in the social sciences and humanities.  Good for discovering publications from Spain.

Indexes thousands of journals (millions of articles), mostly published in Spain. Covers all subject areas, including works about Latin America. Also includes some full-text theses from Spanish universities.

Coverage of General Humanities  

FRANCIS: International Humanities and Social Sciences
A multilingual and multidisciplinary bibliographic database with international scope, covering the humanities, social sciences and history.

JSTOR  Scholarly Journal Archive
Extensive access to leading journals, including Latin American Studies titles.

Project Muse
Full-text versions of peer-reviewed journals from many of the world's leading university presses and scholarly societies, as well as thousands of ebooks, with emphasis on humanities and social sciences

Beyond Columbia

Libraries with extensive holdings of early printed books and manuscripts

Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library, 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue

See Spotlight on the Archives: The New York Public Library, Rare Book Division.  Interview with Michael Inman, Curator of Rare Books at The New York Public Library, New York, NY. In Colonia/Colônia, The Newsletter of the Colonial Section of the Latin American Studies Association, May 2014.
[navigate to page 8]

The Hispanic Society of America Museum and Library, New York, NY

Has extensive holdings of early printed books (15,000+  printed before 1701) and 250 incunabula (printed before 1500) on Spanish literature and history.  Also holds collections of imprints from Latin America including many editions of works by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.

Limited information is available online; consult some of the published printed catalogs and lists and/or contact the Hispanic Society Library for more information.

John Carter Brown Library, Brown University

Collection of rare books focusing on the history of European exploration, contact and travel in the Western Hemisphere.  Most of the collection has been digitized.  Locate titles in WorldCat or in the Brown Library's Catalog, JOSIAH, limiting location to the John Carter Brown Library.

Latin American Collection

European Imprints