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Latin American & Iberian Studies Subject Guide

UC Library Search: You can start your search for books, articles, films and other library resources from the library website!


Tips for using the UC Library Search Box

  • You can search in English, Spanish and Portuguese
  • If you want to control your results don't type keywords in the basic search box, instead, click on the Advanced Search link (below the search box), where you can control what type of material you want to search for first, e.g. books, articles, films, etc.
  • If using phrases, use quotation marks to make sure your research results are relevant to your topic, e.g. "Latin America" AND "political candidates"; "Caribbean Elections" AND Corruption

Recommended Resources

You can search for print and ebooks on Latin American and Iberian Studies from the library website. You can search for books that talk about the region or about a specific country. Books, eBooks, articles, and films are available in English and Spanish. When searching for phrases always use quotation marks, e.g. "Cuban Santeria" or "Puerto Rico"


Sample searches:

  • "equal rights" AND "Caribbean"
  • "human rights" AND Cuba 
  • "LGBT rights" OR "Gay rights" AND Jamaica


  • Go to the UC Library Advanced Search and select "Books" under Material Type, so your result list only books (print or eBook)!
  • Want to find books about a historical figure? In the Advanced Search, select the option "Title" and type the name of the person you are looking for. That way, you will only get research books about them.
  • Book is not UCSB? No problem! You can request it by clicking on the Get it at UC link!
You can also search for primary sources published in book formats such as memoirs, autobiographies, correspondence, and travel writings.



  • Go to the Advanced Search and select "Books" under Material Type, so your result list only books (print or eBook)!
  • To find books written by a historical figure, select the option, "Author/Creator" from the left side drop-down menu and type the full name of the author in quotation marks. You should then get only books written by them or a compilation of their work.
  • Looking for correspondence, autobiographies, or diaries? Select the option, Subject, and type correspondence for the first line and select, "Author/Creator" in the second line, then type the author's name within quotation marks. E.g. Subject = correspondence; Author/Creator = "Jose Marti"
  • Travel narratives are a little harder to search on the catalog, but my best advice is to use the following subject headings
    • Subject = [Country] + "Description and travel", e.g. Cuba Description and travel
If you still need help finding any of these primary sources, contact me!
You can search for individual journals that focus on Latin America and Iberian Studies. Sometimes these journals may have what is called a special issue where the whole volume focuses on a particular topic, e.g. migration, politics, economics, etc. To find which Latin American and Iberian Studies journals are available online visit the Journal Search (see link below). Type "Latin American Studies" to see a list of journals with that title. If you know the title of a journal, you can search for it too, and see what type of access we have at the library.
Remember to always login all databases with your UCSB netID and password to access licensed resources 


Tip: Latin American and Iberian Studies is an inter- and multidisciplinary research field, therefore you can search for Latin American and Iberian Studies topics in other subject databases. For example, you can search a Political Sciences database to search for articles about political issues in Latin America, Spain, or Portugal.

Sample searches could be:

  • Elections AND Brazil
  • Corruption AND Argentina
  • Nationalism AND Cataluña OR Catalonia
  • Mapuche AND autonomy AND Chile
Top 5 databases to search for articles (AKA as academic/scholarly/peer-review articles)
The library has access to many art databases, but finding information about Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian art and artists. However, it is not different from finding scholarly articles about the same topics. The key is using various keywords to capture what you seek.


 First, you can do a broad search for Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian art and artists or by country, e.g., Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, etc., to identify the artist or art movement you want to focus on.

If you know the name of the artist, the art movement, or the name of the famous piece of art you want to research, you can search by the artist's name, the art movement, or the name of the famous piece of art. Less famous artists or art pieces may yield little to no information, so consider changing the topic you want to research to something with more information.

Below are some databases that you can use to find out about artists and their art:

Multidisciplinary Databases: These databases cover various topics, including the arts, so they are a good starting point for your research.

Specialized art databases: These databases provide information about artists and their works. Some, like ARTstor and Calisphere, are image catalogs of art pieces, from paintings to murals.

Finding Films

Finding Music:

Finding M.A. theses and Ph.D. dissertations, especially those from UCSB is a little complicated these days. Since the adoption of electronic submission of theses and dissertations, most of these materials are deposited into different institutional repositories. But older printed dissertations may be found in the database ProQuest Theses and Dissertations.


Many universities have moved in this direction with the good outcome that many theses and dissertations are freely available as part of the Open Access movement. Still, there are many other dissertations that are unavailable since they are under embargo--meaning that they are not be made available to the public until a certain amount of time has passed (3-5-10 years depending on the discipline).

If you are curious to see dissertations written by students supervised by your dissertation advisor; making sure no one has written about your topic; looking for citations to build your literature review; or looking for methodologies that you could apply to your research, theses, and theses and dissertations are a MUST to review!


The links below will guide you to where to find these very important sources!

What are Open Access Resources?

"Open access (OA) is a publishing and distribution model that makes scholarly research literature—much of which is funded by taxpayers around the world—freely available to the public online, without restrictions."--Open Society Foundations


Many organizations in Latin America, Spain, the US, and around the world are working hard to make accessible thousands of scholarly works free of charge to researchers and the general public. Below is a list of organizations that offers OA publications related to Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain, and Portugal.