Biblioteca : Latin American and Iberian Resources at Georgetown

Digital Latin American Collection at Princeton Theological Seminary

May 31, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Greetings! Yes, I promised a few more posts than I was able to complete this spring semester, but, well, work happens! I do hope you find whatever I put on here to be helpful or at least of interest. For the future, I’ll come up with topics and work on them more gradually in drafts, rather than setting aside a bunch of time to do a whole posting at once.

Today’s post is about the Latin American Collection at the Princeton Theological Seminary (scroll down the linked page to see Spanish and Portuguese translations of the collection’s description.) Religion, of course, has been a central force throughout Latin America, and these online offerings should greatly advance research in this field. I found this full-text treatise on Bartolomé de las Casas, a history of how early colonial missions were founded and operated in the region, and even a 1605 text about Portuguese Jesuits in Asia and Brazil. Note that the default, once you are “in” a text, is to search within the book, but it is quite easy to change the kind of search you want to do. If you own a Kindle, you will likely also be able to  download whatever you find onto the device. As with any online resource, check its FAQ as well for important information about the collection.

If you are particularly interested in Latin American colonial history and culture, particularly in the Andes, you may also be interested in our Peruvian Manuscripts Collection in the Booth Family Center for Special Collections on the top floor of Lauinger. Although it is not a digitized collection, nonetheless it is easy enough to request particular materials for your own research.

I will add the PTS collection to my relevant research guides soon. Have a good rest of the week and stay cool!

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April 19, 2016 · Leave a Comment

The other day at the reference desk, a student asked about how to cite images that she found online, but originally appeared in an early 20th-century British newspaper. Many times the citations and bibliography can be just as confounding as writing the paper itself! As the semester starts to wind down, I thought I’d highlight a few of them and provide some tips to make things easier.

There are several different style guides, the chief ones being Chicago, Turabian, MLA (Modern Language Assocation), APA (American Psychological Assocation), AMA (American Medical Assocation), CSE (Council of Science Editors), and ACS (American Chemical Society.)


Why are there so many different styles? Basically each style highlights a different aspect of a particular bibliographical source, depending on the field. Science, for example, tends to focus more on journal articles instead of monographs, which is more common in the humanities, and its citation style tends to focus on the article itself, and not the authors.  Science articles often have many coauthors, hence they are abbreviated to make the entry shorter and more concise.

Humanities sources tend to be written by a single person (although I think this may be starting to change, but that’s a topic for another post.) Check out some examples of MLA style here, and you’ll quickly see it is a bit less concise than CSE style, and both the authors/contributors and the work are generally given equal emphasis.

Being exact with citation and bibliographical style is important because it was what lends your work its veracity. A poorly constructed citation entry will make the reader think you did not actually consult the source, or, at a minimum, make it very difficult for the reader to find. This is the key idea while writing these; the reader should be able to find the source given the information in the citation or entry.

At Lauinger we do have a few tools to you help you sort through the different styles (you can navigate to the link page from the Research link at the top, then click on Citations Tools.) Most citations/entries are quite straightforward, but you may need to piece together different kinds of entries for something like the situation I mentioned at the start of this post.

Feel free to contact any librarian for any help you may need for this. I actually love making bibliographies, they’re kind of like putting together a little skeleton for your paper…but I guess that’s one reason why I became a librarian! Have a good week and thanks for reading.

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Finishing up the semester; broader resources for literary studies

April 4, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Greetings from Lauinger. Yes, my posts are becoming more infrequent! But as the semester winds down, I plan on writing at least a short entry every Monday to help you get through these final weeks.

If you are a student, feel free to make an appointment with you to help with your final papers or projects. Or if you are an advanced graduate student or faculty, I’d also be happy to help with your long-term research projects that you will focusing on over the summer. And, if you think you need to “just get started,” and don’t necessarily need an appointment at this time, please stop by the reference desk (to the right as you enter the main floor of Lau) to get some good starting points. My e-mail is mrs249 [at] georgetown[dot]edu.

Today I will focus on non-MLA International resources for literature and cultural studies. I have nothing against MLA whatsoever, and of course I strongly encourage it as first stopping point in literary studies, but I do want to explore beyond the field’s “go-to” database, if only to round out your options. By no means do I claim this list to be exhaustive (no such thing can exist!), but rather some ideas for supplementary works that may be a great use to your research.

If you’re focusing on literature from Latin America, I recommend Handbook for Latin American Studies (HLAS) Online and Hispanic American Periodical Index (HAPI) Online . Although they have similar names, the two resources are quite different. HLAS is an index published by the Library of Congress, and contains primarily monographic (book) resources. HAPI is from UCLA and is an index of journal articles of journals published primarily in Latin America. The advantage to both is that their contents have been reviewed and vetted to be reliable sources of scholarly research, or at least of general cultural interest. I did a search for Arenas, Reinaldo, and got many useful hits in both indexes.

I also recommend the Literature Resource Center . This is an online resource that serves as a great introduction for many writers and literary movements. However, I also recommend it for book reviews, multimedia works, and primary resource materials. You can limit it by these various categories on the right side. I found a sound file of a review of the English translation of Javier Marías’s Los enamoramientos that originally appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air!

Finally, I also recommend looking into related databases, especially if your topic is more on the theoretical or historical side. For example, if you’re interested in theoretical approaches to sexuality in literature, try looking at Philosopher’s Index; I used terms sexuality and culture and retrieved some excellent articles. For historical and cultural contexts, try Historical Abstracts, History Compass, or even art databases such as ARTstor or ArtBibliographies Modern.

I hope these suggestions help you think a bit more broadly about your topic, and they may even help you stumble across something new that changes what you think your research project. More next week!

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New semester and news about a Bolaño novel

January 28, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Greetings from Lau! I hope you have been coping with the snow ok. Very, very, gradually the city is showing signs of improvement, and I look forward to when I won’t need my giant boots again. I grew up in central Illinois and got my BA in Minneapolis-St. Paul, so this weather isn’t completely foreign to me, but I’m definitely not used to it anymore, either!

First, let me know about any of your research needs and, if you teach, please let me know if you need any kind of library instruction. I welcome individual meetings (in-person or via the chat on my research guides), group meetings for a specific project, e-mail, in-class instruction, or really any way that is the most convenient for you. I have begun teleworking on Mondays, but thanks to technology, I can certainly be in touch! If, however, you do need me to come in on Monday for a class or some other kind of presentation, I can simply change my telework day to accommodate this.

Second, I just read that Roberto Bolaño’s last novel, 2666, is being adapted into a play at the Goodman Theater in Chicago. It will be quite interesting to see how this turns out, although I am hopeful as the Goodman does great work. We have a fair amount about Bolaño and his work in Lauinger, and there always seems to be more. In 2013, the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona held an exhibition based on his archives, and much of its website is still active. And yes, we have the exhibition catalog right here in Lau!

Have a great semester. When I was in school, I often found the spring semester to be more grueling than the fall one; the end is in sight but there’s still a bit a hurdle to go. Let me know if there’s any way the library can make your life a little easier!

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¡Colombia! Euskera!

December 18, 2015 · Leave a Comment

One of the many big news stories coming out of Latin America this week is the advancement of the Colombian peace accords in Havana. We have A LOT on Colombia here at Lauinger, and I’m continually striving to get more. It is still too early to have any books or scholarly articles about the recent developments in the peace process, but if you are interested in current news and analysis, check out Latin American Newsstand, in which you can limit by date and language on the left, or CIAO, which you can also limit by date. In general I found simply searching on the words “Colombia peace” (without the quotes in the actual search) produced better results than “Colombia peace process.”  Note that in Latin American Newsstand you can receive e-mail updates on the upper right of the results list, under “Save Search/Alert,” so you can be continually updated.

In completely different news, I just read this article that Basque culture will be the theme of next year’s Smithsonian Folklife festival here in DC in late June and early July next year. Information is not up yet about next year’s festival, but they are generally held in the same area on the National Mall, between 3rd and 4th Streets.

A quick keyword search in GEORGE reveals that we have about 635 titles in or about the region, people, and language. For articles on Basque history or politics, try databases like Historical Abstracts or International Political Science Abstracts, and for literature and language, MLA International and Linguistic and Language Behavior Abstracts. The Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada-Reno has a great list of links about Basque culture and history as well. I’d love to get at least a few more Basque language self-instruction resources for Lau, but they are few and far between. Do let me know (mrs249[at] if you see anything that interests you! I believe with the possibility of Catalan independence, there is also growing interest in the Basque Country, the Valencian Community, and Galicia as well, and I will continue to seek these resources.

I’ll end my last post of the year on a lighter note. My friend Neil let me know earlier today about this documentary on Basque strongmen. It talks a great deal about Basque culture and daily life, especially in the rural areas, and I think it is a good way to wind down at the end of the semester. Happy holidays to all and see you in the New Year! I’ll be back on January 4. Les deseo paz y felicidades en el año nuevo.

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Hathi Trust, finals, and something fun

December 9, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Hi there. The semester seems to be winding down slightly, at  least from the library’s perspective, so I have a moment to breathe…and blog! Woo!

Last year the Library joined Hathi Trust, which is “a partnership of major research institutions and libraries working to ensure that the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future.” There are nearly 7 million book titles in it, most of which are public domain. I found books in Spanish going back as far as the 18th century, and texts in Quechua, the Maya languages and dialects, and other indigenous languages. Its interface is very easy to use, and you can also use your own account to save and search in particular works.

Note that if a title is still in copyright, the view will still be quite limited. However, if you are interested in older materials, or comparing different editions, it works well. In the search bar, you can see that you can select “full-view only,” so your results will only show works that have the full text available. And if you want to do more specialized work on these texts, such as analyzing the occurrence and context of a particular phrase over time, check out the work being done at the Hathi Trust Research Center.

Also I wanted to add a quick note that I’ll be here until December 19, and then I’ll be gone for the winter break until January 4. Please feel free to get in touch if you need any help; no problem is too small or too big! My e-mail is mrs249[at], and my phone is 202 687 2878. Generally I am here 10am-6pm, Monday through Friday.

Finally, just as a break from the finals grind, here are some excellent cumbia dancers in Cartagena, Colombia. Enjoy and bona sort/buena suerte/boa sorte for the rest of the semester!


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Quick post: Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; wrapping up the semester

November 9, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Hi everyone. Yes, I was overdue for a post, but it’s busier than usual the last few weeks, and then last week I had some minor surgery on my right foot. All is well and I’m back in business.

For today, just a quick post for anyone heading up to NYC soon. My friend James Doyle is assistant curator in the Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and he has helped curate this exhibition with the chief curator, Joanne Pillsbury, Design for Eternity: Architectural Models from the Ancient Americas. You can read more about the models in blog posts from the museum here (there are only two at the moment, since it’s a new exhibition) and information about visiting the Met here.

Second, If there are any Georgetown faculty or students reading this, let me know how I can help you finish up the rest of the semester. This is the time when many students are at least starting preliminary work on their final papers. Professors, let me know if I can come to your class for a presentation on library resources (as specific or as general as you’d like, and for as short or as you’d like), and students, feel free to meet with me in person for research assistance, and or even chat via my research guides for help. If I’m logged into chat (and I’m not right now because I’m writing this!) a chat box will appear. I actually “met” with a student last week this way while I was out with my foot and it worked well. My e-mail is mrs249[at]

Have a great week! More soon.

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SciELO indexed in Web of Science (which is much more than science!)

October 9, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Happy Friday! I can tell by the looks of the students’ faces in the library that midterm exams are on the horizon, if they haven’t already ended for some. Happily there is a three-day weekend in just a matter of hours, so we can all have a breather.

Maybe this is old news in the Latin American/Lusophone Studies library world, but today I learned that the database Web of Knowledge/Web of Science (as we call it in our database list) indexes the Brazilian open source journal platform SciELO. If you work in the humanities or social sciences, have no fear of that word “Science”! Through the Web of Science, I was able to find some excellent articles in these areas as well.

To limit your search to SciELO, just click on the arrow next to where it says “All Databases” and choose SciELO. That’s it! To test the limits of “science,” I searched “literatura colonial” and ended up with about 70 article hits. One advantage of searching in Web of Science is that recently added citation and usage counts to its platform, and these will gradually be added as they appear in other bibliographies over time. If you create an account (upper right under Sign In), you can create and save bibliographies, search alerts, and other time-saving features.

The SciELO website is still a good place to go for a broader approach, such as looking at journals from a particular country or academic field. I recommend bookmarking and using both for different reasons; sometimes researchers need traditional keyword searching, and other times, it’s helpful to look at broader trends.

Let me know if you have any further questions or issues with either version of SciELO. I won’t be posting next week because I’ll be visiting family in Illinois, but I’ll make a post the following Thursday while I’m on the way up to a meeting in New Haven, LANE. Have a good weekend and thanks for reading.

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Hello again! And a news resource

October 2, 2015 · Leave a Comment

¡Hola de nuevo! As I recently wrote, I recently decided to continue blogging here. I have set aside time every two weeks to write something new. I am also thinking of starting blogs for my other liaison areas, Italian and Western European Studies, but, well, baby steps for now. While on the surface it may seem easy to keep up a blog, over time the maintenance and focus of the blog can change and become increasingly complicated. However, I enjoy writing these posts, and it helps me to step back a bit and reflect on my work. And I hope it helps inform you as well!

Today I want to focus on a great news resource that we have here at Georgetown, Press Display. This is a great way to get current news and information from many countries. The opening screen lists a lot of current events happening from a wide variety of sources, but on the left you will see a long list of countries that you can link to. Right now I’m looking at today’s front page of the Paraguayan newspaper Última hora, for example. Using the navigation bar at the bottom, I can “read” it just as if it were the newspaper itself. You can zoom in by clicking the page, and you can crop and print particular articles by hovering over the printer icon. It also works well on both phones and tablets. Keep in mind that if you are off-campus, you will be asked to log in with your NetID and password to gain access.

As you go through the titles from each country, you’ll definitely come across a few that are more about pop culture or hobbies (such as Todo perros from Spain) rather than serious news, but I also must say that even looking at these is a great way to practice your Spanish or Portuguese (or, if you’re from that country, a way to keep up with everything going on there!) If you need to know about current events, trends in politics, fashion, pop culture, or just more about the daily life of a particular place, Press Display is a great place to start.

Direct link to Press Display:

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Blog news!

September 29, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Hi everyone,

I’m not sure who is reading this anymore, but I recently decided to go ahead and revive this blog! The entries will probably be short and sweet for the most part, and will come more often. I’ve set aside time on my schedule to write these. The first official new post will be this Friday. ¡Olé!

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