Biblioteca : Latin American and Iberian Resources at Georgetown

Biblioteca Palafoxiana online catalog, Colegio de México digital collections, blog news

February 11, 2015 · Leave a Comment


Happy Wednesday. I recently received notice that the Biblioteca Palafoxiana’s catalog is online. You can search it here. While it is not a digital library, nonetheless it is helpful to see the holdings of what many consider to be the first library in America. Full link:

I did find a way to find some digitized versions of books that are in the Biblioteca Palafoxiana, through the cooperative e-book platform Primeros Libros (which I will adding to my relevant research guides shortly.) The list of digitized books in the BP is here.

While I was looking at various webpages for this post, I happened to come across the Colegio de Mexico’s list of digital collections. There is a some great stuff in there in a variety of subject areas, and most of the collections are publicly available (Colegio-only resources are marked with CM.) Link for this is here.

Finally, while I will continue to post on this blog when I can for the remainder of the semester, I am thinking about retiring it in the fall, or at least slowing it down a bit. Blogs take a great deal of time to write, edit, and maintain, and in the interest of efficiency (THE word of our age, I think), I am thinking about going the social media route, if only to send out news much faster. However, I also like this format exactly because of its length; the ability to be clear and complete is something becoming rarer and rarer these days. I will likely continue it somewhere in the middle; blogging for the bigger news (a new paid resource, conference news, etc.) and leaving quick and helpful tips and more general/public resources to Facebook and/or Twitter. More to come! Thanks for reading.

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“Literatura afro e indígena para leer y descargar gratuitamente” (Banco de la República, Colombia)

December 22, 2014 · Leave a Comment

This is the last post of 2014! Tomorrow I head to Illinois and then Pennsylvania for the holidays. It’s been quite a year. I was hoping to post from the Feria Internacional del Libro, but it was just too busy! It was a great time, though, and I got some good stuff that will be hitting the shelves over the next few months.

I just found out about this via the SALALM Facebook page. The Banco de la República in Colombia is offering two new series of books for free, one on indigenous Colombians, and the other on Afro-Colombian literature. The press release is here, and I found both collections on this page within the digital library of the Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango.

In the new year, I will see about the possibility of adding these pages to GEORGE, but online collections are wily and can be tricky to keep track of. Content and URLs often change over time, for example, and maintaining the catalog record in tandem requires a good amount of work, especially if you’re dealing with many different pages across different subject areas. The “Biblioteca Virtual” is organized very well, however, and after a few clicks, it’s pretty easy to navigate. Also note that you can join their e-mail list to receive updates on the website as well as other cultural activities sponsored by the Banco.

More to come in 2015! Many thanks for reading this! Happy holidays, and peace and happiness in the new year.

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Researching religion in Latin America

November 24, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Hi everyone. Well, I meant to write a post right after my previous post, but, work happened! I am heading to Mexico on Saturday for the Feria Internacional del Libro, and I’ll make sure I write a post from there.

Today my colleague Amy Phillips and I helped a student who was researching Judaism and Jews in Ecuador, and she showed me a great source for Jewish Studies, RAMBI. Check out her research guide for Hebrew & Jewish Studies to help you find more resources about this often-overlooked culture in Latin America.

Given Georgetown’s Catholic affiliation, many librarians here collect quite a few books and other resources to research religions around the world. I just did a quick search on general books about religion in Latin America, with these results.

Besides my own guides on Latin American Studies, there are also other research guides that may be handy. Besides obvious ones like Theology & Religions or Asian Religions, guides on sociology, education, and other related topics may also be useful.

Side note: the Library of Congress Hispanic Reading Room has digitized many books in Ladino, and here they are.

Happy Thanksgiving if you celebrate it, and enjoy the time off/time to get caught up! 🙂 Thank you for reading.

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La saga Fernández-Shaw y el teatro lírico (Fundación Juan March)

November 7, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Hi everyone. Well, it is well over halfway through the semester, and I realized that I haven’t blogged in a very long time! It has been a busy time, but mostly good. To make up for it, today I’ll write two posts!

This first post is about a new online archive of Spain’s Fernández-Shaw family, which created over 100 works of various genres musical theater (zarzuelas, sainetes, operas, etc.) The archive was done and is hosted by the Fundación Juan March, and contains nearly 5000 individual documents divided by composer (Carlos, the father, and his sons Guillermo and Rafael.) Even if your research is not about musical theater itself, the archive is an excellent reflection of one of Spain’s most turbulent centuries. The family also traveled extensively throughout the Western Hemisphere, and documents like this one make for fascinating study if your interests fall in the Transatlantic realm.

The archive is searchable by index, but there doesn’t seem to be any OCR. Nonetheless, the archive appears to be well-indexed and searches worked well, and metadata is extremely thorough. You can narrow results from the list on the left. Finally, to see a whole document, click on “Ver documento” and not the image. Most images also seem to be available in .pdf.

Here is the direct link to the archive is here:

Second post in a little bit! Happy Friday.

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Hello and some other stuff!

August 25, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Hello hello. It’s been quite awhile since I posted, but I decided to take a break from the blog and try to keep this going mostly through the regular academic year. Classes start in two days, so you’ll start seeing more posts here soon. I think about two per month is good without making me too busy.

If you’re new to Georgetown this year, welcome! Feel free to get in touch with me about any question about the library; if I can’t answer it, I can certainly find the person who can. My e-mail is I’ll be holding quite a few research sessions this fall, so it’s likely you’ll see me around ICC a good amount. Please say hello!

Completely off the topic from all of this, I randomly found this recorded discussion from the Center for the Art of Translation in San Francisco about the complexities of translating Roberto Bolaño. The discussion features the translator Natasha Wimmer and the writer Daniel Alarcón, and is here.

Speaking of translation, I have been developing my own interest in the subject in recent years, and here at Lauinger we have over 700 titles on the subject. I’m going to check out a few titles myself right now!

Best of luck with the semester!

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Which journals are in which databases?

June 23, 2014 · Leave a Comment


With the ever-increasing number of full-text journals available in our databases, it can be frustrating to simply browse new issues of your favorite ones. It’s very easy to find the print copies in the stacks and just leaf through them, and as a semi-Luddite myself, nothing beats sitting and relaxing with something that exists in the actual world. But have no fear, with just one extra step, you can find these journals in the databases as well, and then simply “leaf” through them online.

The key is the switch the main search box on the library web page to “Journals.” You can find journals in the catalog, but many times the rather generic names can make for a lot of similar and therefore confusing entries*. However, the “Journals” search is much more direct, and the results will lead you directly to the databases in which there is full-text availability. For example, Bulletin of Spanish Studies is available in a few different databases (click to enlarge):


Once you’re in a particular database, you can usually browse by year, and then drill down to particular issues from there. In addition, you can often receive an e-mail or RSS notifications for when the latest issue is available; these options are often under links titled “Share” or something similar. Also note that you can still get to the catalog record in GEORGE.

*There’s also a history of when new catalog records were created for serials, hence it may seem that there is some duplication of records for the same title. If you really want to get technical, have a look at the latest rules (.doc) on this issue!

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World Cup online collection and exhibit

June 17, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Hi there, I hope you are staying cool on this very, very hot day. I walked to Saxby’s during lunch to grab a sandwich, and well, I don’t think I want to leave the building again until at least 10 PM.

Early today, Luis González, my counterpart at Indiana University, sent out an e-mail about an online collection and related exhibits to the SALALM listserv. They are from the Museu do Futebol in São Paulo and are housed on Google’s “Cultural Institute” platform.

Pay special attention to the options available in the upper left and right corners, they can refine and reorganize the display very quickly; I love that you just have to click to refine the results, although there is also a search option as well. I don’t believe the metadata is quite complete yet, but with just under 400 items, browsing is still manageable for the moment.

The site is here, and is really a great look into the history of futebol. Complete link:

PS: I did a quick search on “World Cup” in GEORGE, and we definitely have some interesting titles about the tournament!

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Copa do Mundo!

June 3, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Hi everyone. It is summer and I was away during graduation, so first, congrats to the new graduates! I look forward to meeting the new Georgetown students soon.

The World Cup starts next week. Today I want to offer some resources that offer different perspectives on it. By no means is this list exhaustive, it is just some resources I have come across.

First, the Brazilian government has established their own page. I found the videos at the very bottom of the page to be of particular interest; under “Histórias das Copas,” you’ll find interviews with historians, players, and other commentators discussing previous Copas.

On Twitter, you can find very recent information and news using the #copamundial2014 hashtag. Note that on the left you can break the search down by category. If you need more English-language news and comments, use the tag #worldcup2014.

Want to dig a bit deeper? That’s what the library is for! (Although to be fair, you can also do the first two things in the library as well!) We have a research guide for the Sports Management program in the School of Continuing Studies, and I found some excellent articles in the Sports Business Research Network database. I had better luck with finding articles about the World Cup using the keyword search on the right rather than clicking on the “soccer” link in the middle. SPORTDiscus also had a lot of good articles.

The site, which is part of the larger Catalytic Communities organization, has produced and written many news stories about the social and economic complexities surrounding the tournament.

Finally, try out Latin American Newsstand to get more Latin American perspectives; it is available on my Latin American Studies research guide. I had much better results with Copa Mundial 2014 as a search than the English. Note that you can limit by location and language as well, on the right side of the screen.

Right now we are on hold for new purchases until the fiscal year starts again next month, but I’m certain that there are already are Brazilian books out there about the Copa. I’ll try to find a few right after I finish this post, and let me know if you know of any, I’ll be happy to try to get them.

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Georgetown Latin American Film Festival

April 3, 2014 · Leave a Comment

I just noticed a big increase in hits on my page related to Latin American film, I’m guessing because of Georgetown’s own festival that starts tomorrow. I blogged about the one held at AFI in Silver Spring before, so to avoid any confusion, I’m providing a link to more information about Georgetown’s here. It was a pleasure working with Jenni Chaves on the festival, I’m sure it will be fantastic.

Direct link:

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Narcotráfico en América (El Universal, Mexico)

April 3, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Just a quick post about a series of articles that were mentioned in an El País story yesterday because it won the Premio Ortega y Gasset. The series, Narcotráfico en América has been running for some time, with latest article published last month. As with any current sources, you may want to keep in mind the potential for bias, but overall I’ve found the articles to be compelling and straightforward accounts on how the narcos operate.

For deeper research into drug trafficking in Latin America, my colleagues at Lauinger have prepared several research guides that may help besides my own Latin American Studies guide. Depending on your topic, you may find the Security & Intelligence Studies, International Migration & Refugees, and even Sociology to also be useful. Finally, in my Latin American data guide, I will be adding more resources that deal with this complex and difficult issue.

Direct link to Narcotráfico en América:

Direct link to all of the Lauinger research guides:

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