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Latinx Studies: Library of Congress Resources

Collections and Resources

The Library of Congress has over 20 centers that provide research space and guidance for users to interact with collection items based on subject or format. The Hispanic Reading Room curates materials from 61 countries and/or regions in 26 different languages and in varying formats such as books, maps, photographs, manuscripts, and digital objects. The Hispanic Reading Room staff provides access to materials from the General Collections and helps point researchers to relevant items in other reading rooms. Selected digitized primary source materials from the Library’s collections are highlighted below along with links for further exploration.

Jonas Dovydenas, photographer. Latino soccer, Montrose Harbor Park, Chicago, Illinois. 1977. Library of Congress American Folklife Center.

Folklife, Ethnographic Materials

The American Folklife Center collects and documents living traditional culture and is one of the largest archives of ethnographic materials from the United States and around the world, encompassing millions of items of ethnographic and historical documentation recorded from the nineteenth century to the present. These collections, which include extensive audiovisual documentation of traditional arts, cultural expressions, and oral histories, offer researchers access to the songs, stories, and other creative expressions of people from diverse communities, including Latinx and Latin Americans.

Part of the American Folklife Center, the Veterans History Project recognizes the contributions of Latinx soldiers and has worked to include their stories as part of the national archive of veterans histories.

Listen to the stories of those who participated in military conflicts:

  • Ramón Viera was part of "The Borinqueneers" 65th Infantry Regiment composed of Puerto Rican soldiers. Borinquen is the Taíno indigenous name of the island of Puerto Rico and it was adopted by this infantry to represent their pride and connection to the island. Mr. Viera participated in World War II and the Korean War.
  • Ernest Gallego was born in East Los Angeles, California, to immigrant parents. Eager to serve, he enlisted in the Army Air Force in 1943 as soon as he turned 18 years old. Mr. Gallego, like many other Hispanic Americans, proudly served his country during the Second World War as well as the Korean War.

Selected collections at the American Folklife Center

The following collection titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content, including finding aids for the collections, are included when available.

Users can also find a wealth of resources in this blogpost: A Sampler of Luso-Hispanic American Music and Song

Prints, Photographs, Visual Materials

Fine art prints and photographic collections at the Library of Congress include a representation of Latinx communities in major cities in the United States such as Los Angeles and Chicago. Some of these images are available online and they are a rich resource in the documentation of the everyday life of Latinx and community spaces across the United States.

The following collection titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content, including finding aids for the collections, are included when available.


Mario Cuomo tiene dos cunadas hispanas. [1977] Yanker Poster Collection. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Literature at the Library of Congress

There are several areas of the Library that act as focal points for literature and Latinx studies. Three of these are highlighted below and include resources from the Hispanic Reading Room, but also from other areas of the Library.

PALABRA Archive

The PALABRA Archive is a collection of original audio recordings of 20th and 21st century Luso-Hispanic poets and writers reading from their works. With recorded authors from all over Latin America, the Iberian Peninsula, the Caribbean, and other regions with Hispanic and Portuguese heritage populations, this archive has close to 800 recordings to date, a portion of which are available for online streaming.


Featured recording:

Latinx Literature and Authors

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content, including finding aids for the collections, are included when available.

REFERENCE WORKS


INDIVIDUAL TITLES BY LATINX AUTHORS

George, Philip B., 1946- (Author). Reports and Products - Final Report - Latino, Chicago Ethnic Arts Project. 1977. Chicago Ethnic Arts Project collection (AFC 1981/004). Library of Congress American Folklife Center.

Manuscripts, Archival Materials

In the Library of Congress, Latinx manuscript and archival materials can be found in the Manuscript Division as well as the American Folklife Center.

The Manuscript Division holds approximately sixty million items in eleven thousand separate collections, including some of the greatest manuscript treasures of American history and culture and support scholarly research in many aspects of political, cultural, and scientific history. The Library's Manuscript Reading Room provides access to archival materials on and about Hispanic Americans, including primary sources from cultural figures, authors, and politicians.

Featured manuscript:

Film, Video, Television

The Library's Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division holds one of the largest collections of motion pictures in the world, spanning the entire history of cinema. Many of these resources have been digitized and are available online. Research assistance and access to all of film, video, and television collection items is available through the Moving Image Research Center.

Ritmo en el Corazón [album cover] Fania Records, 1988. Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting & Recorded Sound Division.

Performing Arts

The Performing Arts Reading Room (part of the Library's Music Division) provides access to classified music and book collections, music and literary manuscripts, iconography, microforms, periodicals, musical instruments, published and unpublished copyright deposits, and close to 500 special collections in music, theater, and dance.

To hear recordings or interact with audio materials in the Library's collections visit the Recorded Sound Research Center which is part of the Library's Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.


Featured webcast:

Webcasts of Library of Congress Events

Webcasts are video recordings of talks, presentations, or events that took place at the Library or during the annual National Book Festival and are available for viewing online. Many webcasts are presentations by experts in their field and highlight aspects of the Library's collections. Included here are webcasts on Latinx Studies topics.


Featured webcasts:

Latinx Studies Research Guides

Latinx Civil Rights in the United States: A Resource Guide - This research guide covers 20th-century court cases, legislation, and events that had important impacts on Latino and Latin American people in the U.S. 

This research guide covers 20th-century court cases, legislation, and events that had important impacts on Latino and Latin American people in the U.S. 

Latinx and Chicanx in STEM - This guide provides links to resources for children, young adults, teachers and the general public on Latinx/Chicanx in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and related fields.

This guide provides links to resources for children, young adults, teachers and the general public on Latinx/Chicanx in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and related fields.

American Folklife Center Collections: California - This guide provides access to ethnographic resources documenting expressive culture in the state of California at the Library of Congress.

This guide provides access to ethnographic resources documenting expressive culture in the state of California at the Library of Congress.

American Folklife Center Collections: Florida - This guide provides access to ethnographic resources documenting expressive culture in the state of Florida at the Library of Congress.

This guide provides access to ethnographic resources documenting expressive culture in the state of Florida at the Library of Congress.

American Folklife Center Collections: New Mexico - This guide provides access to ethnographic resources documenting expressive culture in the state of New Mexico at the Library of Congress.

This guide provides access to ethnographic resources documenting expressive culture in the state of New Mexico at the Library of Congress.

American Folklife Center Collections: New York - This guide provides access to ethnographic resources documenting expressive culture in the state of New York at the Library of Congress.

This guide provides access to ethnographic resources documenting expressive culture in the state of New York at the Library of Congress.

American Folklife Center Collections: Puerto Rico - This guide provides access to ethnographic resources documenting expressive culture in the state of New York at the Library of Congress.

This guide provides access to ethnographic resources documenting expressive culture in the territory of Puerto Rico at the Library of Congress.

American Folklife Center Collections: Texas - This guide provides access to ethnographic resources documenting expressive culture in the state of Texas at the Library of Congress.

This guide provides access to ethnographic resources documenting expressive culture in the state of Texas at the Library of Congress.

LGBTQ+ Studies: A Resource Guide - The collections of the Library of Congress tell the rich and diverse story of LGBTQ+ life in America and around the world.

The collections of the Library of Congress tell the rich and diverse story of LGBTQ+ life in America and around the world. This research guide serves as an introduction into the excellent collection of LGBTQ+ resources available at the Library of Congress.

Puerto Rico's Plantation Economy: Snapshots from the Library of Congress - This research guide provides access to historic photographic and film documentation, related print and electronic resources, on the transformation of Puerto Rico from a plan

This research guide provides access to historic photographic and film documentation, related print and electronic resources, on the transformation of Puerto Rico from a plantation to an industrial economy.

The PALABRA Archive at the Library of Congress - This guide provides access to the PALABRA Archive, a collection of audio recordings of Luso-Hispanic poets and writers reading from their works.

This guide provides access to the PALABRA Archive, a collection of audio recordings of Luso-Hispanic poets and writers reading from their works.