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Spanish Literature Guide

ATTENTION: This research guide was last modified on September 09, 2008, before the January 2012 redesign of the library's home page. Information on how to access journal articles, databases, and other library resources may be inaccurate or outdated.

For up-to-date instructions on accessing materials, please visit our tutorial pages instead.

Contact Information

Carol Dales



Subject Headings

Finding Journal Articles

Off-campus Access

Spanish American Literature Guidebooks


Scholarly Internet Research

Citing Your Sources


Books are located using the Library's ToroFind catalog. Here you can search for books by author, title or subject. In addition to finding materials available in the CSUDH Library, you will find links that allow you to directly request books from other libraries (All CSUs Catalog and LINK+ buttons). Links are provided below for other local libraries and libraries worldwide.

  • ToroFind : CSUDH Online Catalog is used to find books and other materials available in the CSUDH Library.
  • Ebrary is a growing collection of electronic books on a variety of topics geared to academic libraries and college students. Use the link to access this database. Ebrary books available are listed in the ToroFind Catalog. If you are using this database for the first time, download the eBrary reader.

If you are unable to locate a book in the CSUDH Collection, try these links:

  • ToroFind has an "Search for and request Books in All 23 CSUs" button for books available in the libraries of the California State University. Search for the book and click on this button.
  • Place an Interlibrary Loan request for a book using a request form . You supply us with the information, and the Interlibrary Loan Department will search for the book. Since books may have to be requested from libraries in other states, this can be the slowest method.
  • Library of Congress Online Catalog
  • LIBWEB (includes links to libraries in over 125 countries)

Subject Headings

Subject headings are a type of controlled vocabulary that is used to take the guesswork out of searching by using a single word or phrase to describe a subject. The University Library uses Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH---the six-volume set that lists these is kept at the Reference Desk on the second floor of the Library.)

Below is a list of sample headings that suggest patterns. Try searching under the following subject headings in ToroFind Online Catalog:

  • Spanish American Drama

  • Spanish American Essays

  • Spanish American Fiction

  • Spanish American Literature
    • --To 1800
    • --20th Century
  • Spanish American Prose Literature
    • --To 1800

  • Spanish Drama

  • Spanish Essays

  • Spanish Farces

  • Spanish Fiction

  • Spanish Language

  • Spanish Literature
    • --To 1500
    • --Classical Period, 1500-1700
    • --18th Century
    • --19th Century
    • --20th Century
    • --History and criticism

Spanish American Love Poetry

      USE Love poetry, Spanish American

Spanish American Mystery Stories
      USE Mystery Stories, Spanish American

Spanish American Nonfiction Novel
      USE Nonfiction Novel, Spanish American

Finding Journal Articles

You can get journal articles by going to the library home page and clicking the Journal Articles & Electronic Resources link under the "Find Journal Articles Now" heading. Click the heading that sounds the most like your situation.

  • If you already know which database you want to use (e.g. MLA Bibliography), click on that database in the A-Z display of databases by title.
  • If you only know what subject you're looking for (e.g. Literature), click  "By Subject" (under "Electronic databases").
  • If you are looking for an article from a specific journal (e.g. Latin American Literary Review),
    click  "Search Journals" (under "Journal List").
  • If you aren't sure where to start, click Help! I don't know where to get started! for a tutorial.

Once you are in a database, you can start to search for your article. All databases' search options are slightly different, but they usually include several search boxes you can fill out. Most databases will also let you search only for peer-reviewed or scholarly journals. For your research papers, make sure you check this option!

Articles which you can read in that database will have a link to the PDF full text or the HTML full text. Click on that text link to read the article. Some databases also let you e-mail yourself the files by clicking on an e-mail link.

Some articles will say "Check Availability of Complete Article" instead of having links to the full text. If you see this, it means the text of that article is not in the database you are searching. But don't worry! By clicking the link which says this, you can see a list of which databases do have the full text. If there are no databases containing the article you want, you can request it via Inter-Library Loan.

Off-campus Access

If you are using a computer that is on campus, you can access all of our electronic databases and ebooks without any further steps. Just click on the database name in the Database List and you will be sent immediately to the search screen.

If you are off campus, you will need to log in using your username and password (the smae information you use to log in to MyCSUDH and Blackboard). You no longer need your student ID number or your social security number to log in to databases! When you click on a database name from off-campus, you will see a screen asking you for your username and password .

After you enter your your username and password , you will be able to access any of our electronic databases and ebooks just as you would on campus.

Spanish American Literature Guidebooks

Bleznick, Donald William, 1924-
A sourcebook for Hispanic literature and language : a selected, annotated guide to Spanish, Spanish-American, and... 3rd ed. Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, c1995.  PC4071.Z9 B55 1995

Cortés, Eladio.
Dictionary of Mexican Literature . Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992. REF PQ 7106 D53 1992.

Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture . New York: Scribner's/Simon & Schuster Macmillan. 1996. 5 vols. Ref F1406 .E53 1996

Flores, Angel
Spanish American Authors: The Twentieth Century . New York: The H. W. Wilson Company, 1992. REF 7081.3 F57 1992

Foster, David William.
Argentine literature: a research guide. New York: Garland Pub., 1982 Garland reference library of the humanities; v. 338   PQ7611 Z9 F63 1982

Foster, David William.
Cuban literature: a research guide. New York: Garland Pub., 1985. Garland reference library of the humanities; v. 511.   PQ7371 .Z9 F694 1985

Foster, David William, comp.
Handbook of Latin American Literature . . New York: Garland Pub., 1992. PQ7081 .A1 H36 1987

Foster, David William.
Mexican Literature: A Bibliography of Secondary Sources . Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1981 REF PQ 7141 Z9F63

Foster, David William and Foster, Virginia Ramos, comps.
Manual of Hispanic Bibliography . 2nd ed. New York,: Garland Publishing, 1977. REF PQ 6033 F63 1977

Foster, David William.
Modern Latin American literature . New York: Ungar, 1975. REF PQ 7081 F63 1975

Gonzalez Echeverria, Roberto and Pupo-Walker, Enrique, eds.
The Cambridge history of Latin American literature. New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 1996.  PQ7081.A1 C35 1996 v.1

Hill, Marnesba D. and Schleifer, Harold B.
Puerto Rican Authors: A Bibliographic Handbook Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1974. REF PQ 7424 Z9H48.

Kanellos, Nicolás, ed.
Hispanic Literature of the United States: A Comprehensive Reference. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, c2003. REF PS 153 H56 2003.

Martinez, Julio A., ed.
Dictionary of Twentieth Century Cuban Literature . Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1990.

Krstovic, Jelena, ed.
Hispanic Literature Criticism . 3v. Detroit, MI: Gale Research, 1994.

Marting, Diane E.
Spanish American Women Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Source Book . Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1990. REF PQ 7081 Z9S62 1990

Ocampo de Gómez, Aurora and Prado Velázquez.
Diccionario de Escritores Mexicanos . Mexico City: UNAM Centro de Estudios Literarios, 1967. REF PQ 7106 024.

Rela, Walter.
A bibliographical guide to Spanish American literature: twentieth-century sources. New York : Greenwood Press, c1988.   PQ7081 .Z9 R438 1988

Ryan, Bryan, ed.
Hispanic Writers: A Selection of Sketches from "Contemporary Authors" . Detroit, MI: Gale Research, 1991. REF PQ 7081 A1H48 1991

Smith, Verity, ed.
Encyclopedia of Latin American Literature . London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997. REF PQ 7081 A1E56 1997

Solé, Carlos A. and Abreu, Maria Isabel, eds.
Latin American writers . New York: Scribner, c1989.  REF PQ 7081 A1L37 1989

South America, Central America and the Caribbean . London: Europa, 1985-  .   F1401 .S68

Ward, Philip, ed.
The Oxford Companion to Spanish Literature . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978. REF PQ 6006 O93

Woodbridge, Hensley Charles. Guide to Reference Works for the Study of the Spanish Language and Literature and Spanish American Literature . 2nd ed. New York: MLA, 1997. Series: Selected Bibliographies in Language and Literature, 5.   PC4071.Z9 W66 1997


Academic Search Premier An excellent general-purpose index to over 3500 periodicals, many of them fulltext. Includes information about Spanish language authors and literature.

Chicano Database Indexes all types of materials in the areas of Mexican-American topics from 1967 to the present and, since 1992, materials on other Latino cultures.

Handbook of Latin American Studies (HLAS Online) Indexes scholarly works on Latin America from 1935 to the present, covering social sciences and humanities in alternating years .

Historical Abstracts Indexes articles, books, dissertations about all aspects of world history since 1450 except for the United States.

JSTOR Complete text and index of core journals in the social sciences & humanities from their starting dates to about 5 years ago.

Literature Resource Center Includes fulltext biographies, bibliographies, and critical analyses of major Spanish-speaking authors.

MLA Bibliography Indexes journals, dissertations, collected works in the fields of literature, folklore, and linguistics from 1963 to the present.

Project Muse Full-text recent volumes of over 100 scholarly journals in the arts and humanities, social sciences, and mathematics.

Scholarly Internet Research

Remember, not all web sites are created equally. Some sites can be valid sources of information, but others are filled with opinion represented as fact. While there isn't a 100% effective way to figure out what kind of site you're looking at, here are some guidelines to follow when using the internet for research:

  • Check Credibility - Is it easy to figure out who's behind the information? Does whomever it is know what they're talking about? Do they have qualifications in the field or some other reason to be trust-worthy in it?
  • Check Accuracy - Are the sources cited well? Is the information up-to-date? Are there any broad, sweeping generalisations that are impossible to verify?
  • Check Reasonableness - What is the page's point-of-view? Is it a corporate page trying to sell you a product? Is it a government or educational site where the main purpose is to educate people?
  • Check Support - Is it possible to double-check the information in another location?

Useful Scholarly Websites

INFOMINE is a virtual library of Internet resources relevant to faculty, students, and research staff at the university level. It contains useful Internet resources such as databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles, directories of researchers, and many other types of information.

The Librarians' Internet Index aims to provide a well-organized point of access for reliable, trustworthy, librarian-selected websites, serving California, the nation, and the world. All links on the Index are selected and approved by librarians before inclusion.

For more information, check out our guide on Evaluating Web Resources

Citing Your Sources

What is plagiarism? - Plagiarism is "The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft." (OED)

In essence, when you quote or paraphrase from somebody else's work without citing it, you are plagiarizing their work. Plagiarism is a serious matter, and could result in a lower or failing grade and even in your expulsion from university. Just rewording your work isn't enough to avoid plagiarism. Since you are still borrowing information heavily from another writer, you still need to include a citation.

But I didn't know! - Ignorance of the law is unfortunately no excuse. You can commit plagiarism without meaning to, and it's just as serious a problem if you do.

How can I avoid it? - You can avoid plagiarism by always citing your sources . Whenever you put a quotation or borrow information heavily from a source, be sure you include a citation in the proper MLA style. This will let your professor know you aren't trying to pass the idea off as your own. Taking detailed notes on where you get your information helps a lot with this, since it prevents you from forgetting which is your own work and which is borrowed from others.

For more information, see your student handbook and this handout by Sheela Pawar at CSUDH .

Click here for an excellent  tutorial on citing sources in MLA Format, prepared and maintained by Purdue University.