Finding Stuff for Latin American Colonial History

I'm mostly concerned with the use of electronic tools for this purpose. There are lots of important paper/book/journal resources that I'm leaving to others to introduce you to.

I generally begin the process of inquiring into a subject by doing searches with AltaVista --not because it's the only or the best or whatever, but because it's a tool I know and am comfortable with. And I generally use the 'Advanced' mode of this and other electronic tools, to keep the software from tying my hands.

So if I do a search in AltaVista for latin america near colonial history I get 77 hits --some of which will lead nowhere, some of which will suggest other things to me, and some of which will give me what I thought I was looking for. In this case, I get a lot of course descriptions. I found several that are quite remarkable, well worth further exploration:

Thing is, you really do have to put in the time to explore, read, hunt, keep track of and then assimilate what you find. That's a lifelong challenge, and if you're not already good at it, you need to work on getting good at it.

One of the links from that search was to a book available on, Chapters of Brazil's Colonial History 1500-1800 (in something called Library of Latin America Series)

So... do we have this book? Annie says yes:
 AUTHOR       Abreu, Joao Capistrano de, 1853-1927.
 TITLE        Capitulos de historia colonial, 1500-1800. English.
              Chapters of Brazil's colonial history, 1500-1800 / 
 PUBLISHER    New York : Oxford University Press, 1997.
 SERIES       Library of Latin America.
 SUBJECT      Brazil -- History -- To 1822.
 Leyburn-Level 4        F2524 .A2413 1997
And do we have others in that Library of Latin America Series? That's harder to find out, but it turns out that you can do a title search in Annie for "library of Latin America" and up come this and 5 other titles. I did find that the publisher's web site (Oxford University Press) gives a listing of the full series.

Another sort of information to consider is maps of Colonial Latin America. There are a number of atlases in our library, including this one that's specifically historical:
 AUTHOR       Lombardi, Cathryn L.
 TITLE        Latin American history, a teaching atlas / Cathryn L. Lombardi,
                John V. Lombardi, with K. Lynn Stoner.
 PUBLISHER    Madison, Wis. : Published for the Conference on Latin American
                History by the University of Wisconsin Press, 1983.
 CONTENTS     The Latin American environment -- The Iberian background -- The
                Amerindian background -- Discovery and conquest -- The colonial
                governments -- Trade, resources, and competition -- The
                Independence of Spanish America -- Latin American boundaries --
                Latin American international relations -- Latin American
                countries ca. 1975 -- Latin American population -- Latin
                American economics and society.
 SUBJECT      Latin America -- History -- Maps.
              Latin America -- Historical geography -- Maps.
              Latin America -- Maps.
 Leyburn-Reference      G1541.S1 L6 1983               LIB USE ONLY

To demonstrate how one thing leads to another, I trolled the Molloy site for mentions of 'maps' and found pointers to

I did a search for "latin america near digital data" and happened upon what seems to be a "Directory of Digital Data Archives For Central and South America" (at and
describes institutions, primarily in Latin America, that archive digital data. The database describes 100 centers in 19 countries, providing detail about data sets, environmental themes to which the data are relevant, the institution that maintains each data set, a contact person for each institution, and the conditions of distribution for each data set.
(This turns out to be part of a large collection of --mostly contemporary-- data on various aspects of Environment, including Mexican census data, US agricultural data, China GIS data, and a number of bibliographies. But it's not very useful for colonial Latin America.)

Hunting around for material that's really about colonial Latin America, I did an AltaVista search for 'colonial latin america' and found a listing of articles published in 8 volumes of the journal Colonial Latin American Historical Review (CLAHR) --which we don't have in the Library, alas. But a quick look in WorldCat discloses that it's available in several places in Virginia, so InterLibrary Loan would be an efficient way to get hands upon the texts.

The same troll led me (eventually) to WEB ADDRESSES FOR RESEARCH ON LATIN AMERICA from University of Arizona, which has a nice summary of useful sites.

And of course there's Handbook of Latin American Studies, which you probably already know about... but if not, take a look.