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Gabrielle Gedo, Junior Fellow
Sheree Budge, Local History and Genealogy Reference Librarian
Lee V. Douglas, Local History and Genealogy Reference Librarian
Note: This guide is adapted from Hispanic Local History and Genealogy in the United States: Selected Titles at the Library of Congress.
Created: June 20, 2018
Last Updated: July 8, 2022
This bibliography is meant to help with research on two main topics: histories of families of Hispanic origin and histories of places in the United States settled by people of Hispanic origin. These topics go far beyond the United States—from Latin America and Spain to places as far as Corsica and Sweden. The subject headings are broad, and the titles listed here can easily serve as sources for other topics as well.
The first page lists handbooks for genealogical research in the United States and in some Latin American countries. The next page deals with personal and place names. Another page lists books on Hispanic history of the United States. Check additional pages that list materials on specific American states, most of them former Mexican or Spanish territories.
We have listed materials on Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Spain. Many of these international materials are relevant to emigration or immigration. "Emigration from Spain," makes up its own section because it involves both the beginnings of the Spanish movement across the Atlantic and the reasons for its continuation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It also helps to trace emigration routes--relatively few people emigrated directly from Spain to the United States, but hundreds of thousands traveled from Spain to Spanish colonies in the Americas, and from there to territories that now lie within U.S. borders. We also consider the emigration of Spanish Jews and the unique circumstances that shaped it.
We have listed catalogs and archives outside the Library of Congress that have local histories, censuses, and land records. Look for various Hispanic genealogy periodicals and publications, materials on Latin American countries not covered in the previous sections, lists, useful websites and online databases, as well as services subscribed to by the Library. Finally, the Miscellaneous page lists any materials that do not fit into the other categories.
The Hispanic Reading Room is the primary access point for research related to the Caribbean, Latin America, Spain and Portugal; the indigenous cultures of those areas; and peoples throughout the world historically influenced by Luso-Hispanic heritage, including Latinos in the U.S. and peoples of Portuguese or Spanish heritage in Africa, Asia, and Oceania.
The Library of Congress has one of the world's premier collections of U.S. and foreign genealogical and local historical publications, numbering more than 50,000 compiled family histories and over 100,000 U.S. local histories. The Library's genealogy collection began as early as 1815 with the purchase of Thomas Jefferson's library.