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Handbook of Latin American Studies (HLAS): A Resource Guide

Help & FAQs

Image showing HLAS Search History option

In addition to the print volume, there are currently two web sites that provide online access to the Handbook of Latin American Studies: HLAS Web and HLAS Online. The two web sites have different search features and somewhat different publication date coverage.

The two HLAS sites each have Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and extensive Help pages to provide guidance on their respective features.

Most of this guide refers to HLAS Web, the recommended search tool. The three Help pages for this site are:

  1. Navigation Help
  2. Search/Browse Help
  3. Print/Save/Email/Cite Help

An FAQ provides answers to some common questions.

Support files are also available for HLAS Online:

You can always contact the Hispanic Reading Room using the Ask a Librarian box (on the left) for help in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.

Comparison of HLAS Sites

While much of the content is the same, the two HLAS sites have unique features. This chart highlights some of the benefits of each site.

HLAS Web ( HLAS Online (

Citations for HLAS records from the 1960s to the present

Three types of search (Browse, Advanced, Keyword) with Search Tips for each

Develop sophisticated searches using and/or/not (Boolean) and specify fields

Limit search by date, language, place of publication, or type of material (book, journal article, book chapter, map/atlas, or electronic resource)

Icons for type of material make it easy to determine if a citation is for a book, a journal article, etc.

Re-sort results by author or date of publication

Select records to save, print, and email

Zotero-compatible (

Revise or redo a search using the search history (within a session)

Save and share permanent link for each record

Use Cite feature to quickly copy a citation for a record or set of records

Create "canned searches" to be shared with others or for continuing use

Connect directly from HLAS records to the LC Online Catalog (for books)

Optimized for mobile access (responsive design)

Citations for all HLAS volumes since vol. 1 (1936)

Introductory essays for vols. 1-49 are included in keyword search (include "general statement" in the search)

Customized OpenURL available for records from the 1960s onward

Fielded keyword searches available (author, title, subject)

Trilingual interface (English, Spanish, Portuguese)

Limit search by HLAS volume number

HLAS volumes on Hispanic Reading Room shelf. 2019. Library of Congress Hispanic Reading Room.

Frequently Asked Questions

Latin America. 2006. Library of Congress Geography and Map Division.

How do I request materials I find in the Handbook of Latin American Studies (HLAS) or view digital versions of books and journals?
Please note that books and journals may only be requested by on-site researchers at the Library of Congress and that some works annotated in the Handbook and included in the database are not part of the Library's collections. If you are not in Washington, DC, you may be able to find the books, journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers cited in HLAS at your local public, university, or institutional library. To help you locate digital versions of books and journals described by HLAS records, click the LC Find It button to locate full text content accessible at the Library of Congress. To help offsite patrons, LC Find It menus also link to open access titles and web search engines. HLAS records contain direct links to digital versions when the Library has digitized the content or the content is available from an open access provider.

How do I access HLAS through the Library's wireless connections?
On-site Library patrons with personal wireless-enabled devices may access HLAS through the Library's free wireless service. Wireless users at the Library have access to research materials that may be limited to on-site use or have other restrictions on further dissemination because of copyright or licensing agreements. Restrictions on the use and further dissemination of these resources are the same whether researchers are accessing them using Library computers or via the Library's WiFi connections using their personal devices.

How does relevance ranking work in my search results? What searches return relevance-ranked results?
Results of Keyword Search (in both HLAS Web and HLAS Online) and searches entered in the Quick Search box in HLAS Web are arranged in a Titles List based on their relevance to your search. The most relevant items display first, as determined by three factors:

  • Uniqueness of search terms within the database
  • Proximity of search terms to each other within the record
  • Number of different search terms present in the record

For the full list of FAQs, go to the FAQs page on HLAS Web.