Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Hunter Library
Research Guides
Western Carolina University

Latin American History

Primary Sources

Finding Primary Resources

TIP: If you are searching for primary sources, it helps to know the date range you are researching and have an idea of a specific place (e.g., Mexico).  It is usually best to start with secondary sources and tertiary sources (encyclopedias like The Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture), which will point you to relevant primary sources AND help you develop search strategies. 

Search tips for finding primary sources in the Library Catalog:

  • Search a person's name as an author (e.g., Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Alvar
  • Use the Library of Congress Terminology for Primary Sources. Best bets: Early Works to 1800 and Sources. Example search: Peru and conquest and (Early Works to 1800 or Sources).
  • Look carefully, some will NOT be primary sources; others will be books published recently, but have an entire collection of primary sources.
  • Many times, the best way to find a primary source is to check the bibliography of a good secondary source like a book or scholarly article.

Finding Secondary Sources

The quick search box searches for articles within America History & Life, Historical Abstracts, Academic Search Complete, and other relevant databases. Will provide indexing and links to JSTOR and Project Muse.