Skip to main content
Michigan State University

Selected Basic Resources for Latin American and Caribbean Studies: Background Reading

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Archaeology of Ancient Mexico and Central America : An Encyclopedia. Edited by Susan Toby Evans and David L. Webster. New York : Garland Pub., 2001. [F1218.6 .A73 2001 Main Stacks]

Cambridge Encyclopedia of Latin America and the Caribbean. Edited by Simon Collier, et al. 2nd ed. Cambridge [England]: Cambridge University Press, 1992. [F1406 .C36 1992 Main Reference]

A useful single volume encyclopedia, profusely illustrated. Organized into six broad sections: Physical environment, Economy, Peoples, History, Politics and Society, and Culture.

The Cambridge History of Latin American Literature. Edited by Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria and Enrique Pupo-Walker. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996. 3 vols.  [Also in print, PQ7081 .A1 C35 1996 Main Reference and Main Stacks]

Vol. 1. Discovery to Modernism

Vol. 2. The Twentieth Century

Vol. 3. Brazilian Literature; Bibliographies

Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture.

Electronic version of the 2008, 6 volume edition. Coverage includes biographical profiles of important figures in politics, letters and the arts. Utilize the general index to locate entries on your topic.

Encyclopedia of Latin American Politics. Edited by Diana Kapiszewski. Westport, Conn.: Oryx Press, 2001.
[F1410 .E56 2001 Main Reference]

Includes political figures, organizations, and events from the 18th-20th centuries, but with an emphasis on the 20th century. Organized by country, each chapter includes a country profile, brief historical overview, 20-40 entries, a list of heads of state, and a bibliography. There are two appendices of entries that don't fit well in the country-by- country format: one of multi-lateral agreements, organizations, and wars, and one of U.S. Foreign Policy in the Region.

The Indians of Central and South America: An Ethnohistorical Dictionary. James S. Olson. New York: Greenwood Press, 1991.
[Also in print, F1434 .O45 1991, Main Stacks]

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures: The Civilizations of Mexico and Central America. Edited by David Carrasco. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. 3 vols. [Also in print, F1218.6 O95 2001 Main Reference]

More than 500 original articles on every facet of Mesoamerican culture written by leading experts in the field. Includes cross-reference, extensive bibliographies and an index.

Political and Economic Encyclopedia of South America and the Caribbean. Edited by Peter Calvert. Longman Current Affairs, 1991.
[F1406 .P45 1991 Main Stacks]

Latin American Historical Dictionaries Series. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 197-

A country series, with titles in the form: Historical Dictionary of [Country]. Latest editions are in Main Reference, older editions circulate; check the catalog for call numbers.

Michigan State University