This research guide is designed as a starting point for locating primary and secondary sources relevant to the participation of Hispanic Americans in business, industry, commerce, and entrepreneurship in the United States. Hispanic American business and commerce includes numerous sectors including agriculture, food service, fashion, retail, high technology, personal care, and entertainment. These encompass businesses both large and small from solo entrepreneurs to those with thousands of employees. The increase in the Hispanic population has resulted in an expansion of Hispanic culture, consumers, and markets. This library guide includes information on related associations, demographic and statistical data sources, information about labor figures and organizations, images and maps, as well a guide to Library of Congress collections and resources.
It is important to note that each research project will be different, and it is not possible to include every possible resource and industry that may be of interest; but the resources listed here should provide a foundation for those seeking an understanding of this field on which to conduct further research. If you have a topic of research that you need to expand upon, please refer to the Search the Library page to find other resources using the provided subject headings or submit a question through our Ask a Librarian service.
This guide is one of several research guides produced by the Library of Congress Business Section focusing on business and economics topics. If you are looking for information about a contemporary company, consult Doing Company Research. For information on older or defunct companies, refer to Doing Historical Company Research. When researching companies there are many sources to use depending on the company, its size, industry, or location. Small and private companies tend to be harder to research and will require more creativity and perseverance.
Newspapers can be good resources for finding information on individuals and companies. Among the factors that may influence the usefulness of a source are the time period, whether or not the entities you are researching are still in business, and the relative popularity of the subject. Consult the Media page of this guide for a list of digitized historical newspapers, and the Biography page for resources on individuals. Note that researching individuals who are lesser known may require genealogical research.
Many local public and academic institutions, local and state historical societies, and State Libraries and Archives have knowledge of their state and local areas. These institutions will have collections that are geographically focused and will often have other material that will not be available anywhere else including: local papers, directories, telephone books, personal papers, uncatalogued materials, and oral histories.
Part of the Science & Business Reading Room at the Library of Congress, the Business Section is the starting point for conducting research at the Library of Congress in the subject areas of business and economics. Here, reference specialists in specific subject areas of business assist patrons in formulating search strategies and gaining access to the information and materials contained in the Library's rich collections of business and economics materials.