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Latin American History Guide: Reference Resources


Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American BiographyFranklin W. Knight and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., eds. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. 6 vols.
[Also in print: F2195.B55 D53 2016 Main Reference]

Biographical Dictionary of Latin American and Caribbean Political Leaders. Robert Jackson Alexander, ed. New York: Greenwood Press, 1988.
[F1414.2 .B48 1988 Main Stacks]

Index to Spanish American Collective Biography. Sara de Mundo Lo. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1981-1985. 4 vols.
[Z1609.B6 M86 Main Stacks]

Locates biographical information published in collective biographies since 1600. Includes the Caribbean.

General Histories

The Cambridge Histories Online

The Cambridge History of Latin America. Edited by Leslie Bethell. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984-   11 vols.
[Also in print: F1410 .C1834 Main Stacks]

Authoritative essays by international scholars. Bibliographic essays accompany each chapter in each volume, and are brought together from earlier volumes in Vol. 11, "Bibliographic Essays," updated and revised.

General History of the Caribbean. London: Unesco; Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1997-2012.  6 vols.
[F2175 .G45 1997  Remote Storage]


Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture.

This is the 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.

Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience. 2nd. ed. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. 5 vols.
  [Also in print, DT14 .A37435 2005 Area Studies Reference, 2 East]

Cambridge Encyclopedia of Latin America and the Caribbean. 2nd ed. Cambridge: 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.

Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora: Origins, Experiences, and Culture. Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, c2008. 3 vols.
 [Also in print, DT16.5.E53 2008 Main Stacks]

Offers a comprehensive geographical view of the African Diaspora, including lesser-known African communities around the world.

Encyclopedia of Exploration to 1800 : A Comprehensive Reference Guide to the History and Literature of Exploration, Travel, and Colonization from the Earliest Tmes to the Year 1800.  Potts Point, N.S.W.: Hordern House, 2003.
[G80 .H68 2003 Main Stacks]

Historical Dictionary of the Spanish Empire, 1402-1975. Edited by James S. Olson, et. al. New York: Greenwood Press, 1992.
[DP56 .H57 1992 Main Reference]

Focuses on the people, institutions, and colonies of the Spanish empire; not limited to the Americas.

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

A country series. Search the catalog for titles in the form: Historical Dictionary of [Country]. Newer editions are electronic, older editions in print.

Literature of Travel and Exploration: An EncyclopediaEdited byJennifer Speake. New York: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2003. (3 vols.)
[Also in print, G465 .L565 Area Studies Reference, 2 East]

"Leads readers to the individuals who wrote about their travels and lists editions of their writing--primarily, but not always, in English"--(Booklist Reviews, March 1, 2004). Entries include people, places and topics related to travel; utilize geographic entries for bibliographies of travel writing. Note: Some well-known travel writers lack entries in this work.

Race and Ethnic Relations in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Historical Dictionary and Bibliography. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1980.
[F1419.A1 L48 Main Stacks]

Gale Virtual Reference Library

Gale Virtual Reference searches numerous online reference works simultaneously, including the Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture.

What constitutes "common knowledge" and when must I cite a source?

Scroll down to Terms You Need to Know (or What is Common Knowledge?) courtesy of Indiana University's Writing Tutorial Services.


Ask Mary Jo Zeter
Latin American & Caribbean Studies Bibliographer