James H. Thomason Library

History 450 Course Guide: U.S.-Latin American Relations
Reference Sources


Photograph of rebel commanders Raúl Castro and Che Guevara.

n.d.  Image Source: ARTstor Image Database.

  Encyclopedias & Companions
  eReference Collections
  Style Guides
Locating Books
  PASCAL Catalog
  WorldCat & Interlibrary Loan
Locating Articles
  Articles, Essays, Book Chapters
  Journal Finder
Primary Sources
  Historic Newspapers & Periodicals
  Historic U.S. Documents
  Latin American Documents
Get Help

denotes recommended resource
denotes library subscription

Reference Sources:   back to top
Print Companions & Encyclopedias   back to top

For background information and definitions refer to the following library reference works and online reference collections:

Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture / Barbara A. Tenenbaum, editor in chief ; associate editors, Georgette Magassy Dorn ... [et al.] Scribner's : Macmillan Library Reference USA, c1996 5 vols.

Main Level, Reference:  R 980.003 En19E  

American Eras, Thomson Gale, 1998.

Main Level, Reference: R 973.8 Am35A [10 vols]
Covers events, publications, lifestyles, and individuals important to US history from early 1600s through the development of the industrialized US in 1899. Includes essays, chronologies, statistics, images for each major US era.





American Decades, Thomson Gale, 2001.
Main Level, Reference: R 973.9 Am35A
[10 vols]
Covers events, publications, lifestyles, and individuals important to US history during the 20th century. Each volume covers one decade.



American Decades: Primary Sources, Thomson Gale, 2002.
Main Level, Reference: R 973.9 Am35A suppl [10 vols]
Supplemental volumes containing primary sources for each decade of the 20th century. Includes photographs, political cartoons, advertisements, and excerpts from diaries, essays, speeches, poetry, and other literary works written back in earlier time periods covered.

The American Historical Association's Guide to Historical Literature. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995. Volume 2 has extensive coverage of Latin American historiography, with annotated entries and short introductory essays.

Main Level, Reference: R 016.9 Am35G 1995

  Dictionary of American History, Thomson Learning, 2003.
Main Level, Reference:  R 973.03 D561D [10 vols]
Coverage includes political, military, and economic development, as well as the social, cultural, personal, and demographic considerations which contribute to the ever-expanding knowledge of the American experience. Entries include cross-references and bibliographies.

Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2002.
Main Level, Reference: R 327.73 En19E [3 vols]
Covers concepts and doctrines, policymaking, commerce and science, human rights and arms control, with specific articles on topics ranging from anti-imperialism to environmental diplomacy, from refugee policies to terrorism and countermeasures. (For a list of the table of contents, click here.)

Encyclopedia of American Political History, CQ Press, 2001.
Main Level, Reference: R 320.973 En19E3
Presents brief articles intended as “a starting place for ready answers to immediate questions about political history.”  Includes a chronology, brief bibliographies, an appendix defining acronyms and abbreviations used in the field of American history, and an extensive index.

New title! Encyclopedia of Latin America, Facts On File, 2010.
Main Level, Reference:
R 980.01303 En19R [4 vols]

v. 1. Amerindians through foreign colonization (prehistory to 1560) / J. Michael Francis, volume editor -- v. 2. From colonies to independent nations (1550s to 1820s) / Mark A. Burkholder, volume editor -- v. 3. Search for national identity (1820s to 1900) / Monica A. Rankin, volume editor -- v. 4. The age of globalization (1900 to the present) / Thomas M. Leonard, volume editor

Encyclopedia of the United States in the Twentieth Century, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1996.
Main Level, Reference: R 973.003 En19E [5 vols]
Presents lengthy essays on political, economic, social, cultural, and technological developments that have marked the century. Includes cross-references, bibliographical essays, a chronology, and an index volume. 

Encyclopedia of U.S. Foreign Relations, Oxford, 1997.
Main Level, Reference: R 327.73 En19E2 [4 vols]
Essays on major aspects of U.S. foreign relations, such as the American Revolution, the world wars, the environment, and international trade and commerce including a chronology of U.S. foreign relations, a table of national data, and a bibliography.

The Reader’s Companion to American History, Houghton Mifflin, 1991.
Main Level, Reference: R 973.03 R227R
Provides articles on political, economic, social and cultural history, with cross-references and bibliographies.  Articles are of three types: brief entries on significant topics and events, biographical entries, and essays on major issues and developments.

eReference Book Collections   back to top

Cambridge Histories Online

Online access to more than 270 volumes from Cambridge's history series.

See specifically "Regional Histories" collection, for the 12-volume set Cambridge History of Latin America

CREDO Reference
Includes a variety of ready reference & subject specific encyclopedias from highly respected publishers.

Gale Virtual Reference Library [GVRL]            

A collection of reference e-books covering a variety of disciplines.

Gale U.S. History in Context

Complete overview of the most-studied events, issues and current information in U.S. history including Primary Source Microfilm's digital archives with documents, monographs, pamphlets, first-person accounts, and more. Encyclopedic and critical articles, essays and biographies, full-text periodicals and scholarly history journals with links to digitized special collections and audio and video clips of historic speeches and events. Multimedia maps and images, country and era overviews, and chronological timelines for undergraduate audience. Includes the following print titles in electronic format and many more...


American Decades, Thomson Gale, 2001.
Main Level, Reference: R 973.9 Am35A
[10 vols]

American Decades: Primary Sources, Thomson Gale, 2002.
Main Level, Reference: R 973.9 Am35A suppl [10 vols]
Supplemental volumes containing primary sources for each decade of the 20th century.

American Eras, Thomson Gale, 1998.

Main Level, Reference: R 973.8 Am35A [10 vols]

Dictionary of American Biography, American Council of Learned Societies, 1928-1995.
Biographical sketches of more than 19,000 persons who died before 1980 run from a few hundred words to more than 10,000 words. 
Also available Main Level, Reference: R 920.073 D56 [22 vols] 1928-1995

Encyclopedia of American Social History, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1993.
Combines the scholarship of historians with work in ethnology, gender study, geography, literature, religion, anthropology and sociology [to] highlight the processes and the people of the American social structure.
Also available Main Level, Reference: R 301.0973 En19E [3 vols]


Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001.
Entries cover population, politics and government, economy and work, society and culture, religion, social reform, foreign policy and more with illustrations and maps, a chronology, original documents and complete index.

Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History, Gale, 2000.
Provides scholarly articles with references on U.S. economic history from pre-colonial era to end of twentieth century. Includes maps, tables and index.

back to top       

Oxford Reference Online - Premium Collection
This collection brings together language and subject reference works from one of the world's largest reference publishers into a single cross-searchable resource. It is a fully-indexed, cross-searchable database of over 100 dictionary, language reference, and subject reference works published by Oxford University Press, giving subscribers unprecedented access to a comprehensive information resource plus added functionality and more detailed information from titles in the world-renowned Oxford Companions Series.




The Oxford Companion to American Military History [Oxford Reference Online], Oxford Univ. Press, 2000.
Ranging from brief factual pieces to extensive essays, entries examine major wars, important battles, military leaders, relevant acts of Congress and diplomatic policies, peace and antiwar movements, war in the arts, and war viewed through the disciplinary lenses of anthropology, economics, gender studies, and psychology.

Also available Main Level, Reference: R 355.00973 Ox2O [1999]

The Oxford Guide to the United States Government [Oxford Reference Online], Oxford Univ. Press, 2002.
Includes biographies of all the Presidents, Vice Presidents, and Supreme Court Justices, and notable members of Congress, including current leadership; historical commentary on past elections, major Presidential decisions, international and domestic programs, and the key advisors and agencies of the executive branch; in-depth analysis of Congressional leadership and committees, agencies and staff, and historic legislation; and detailed discussions of 100 landmark Supreme Court cases and the major issues facing the Court today.

The Oxford Companion to United States History [Oxford Reference Online], Oxford Univ. Press, 2004.
Over 1,400 entries on America's political, diplomatic, and military history; social, cultural, and intellectual trends; science, technology, and medicine; the arts and religion with  cross-references and bibliographies.

Also available Main Level, Reference: R 973.03 Ox2O [2001]

Biography   back to top


American National Biography, Oxford University Press, 1998.
Main Level, Reference: R 920.073 Am35A [24 vols]
Portraits of more than 17,400 men and women whose lives have shaped the nation.

Encyclopedia of World Biography, Gale, 1998.
Main Level, Reference: R 920.02 En19E [17 vols]
Alphabetically arranged long essays on reputable personalities who have made great contributions to human culture and society.

Gale Biography in Context formerly Biography Resource Center [Thomson/Gale]
Includes biographies from Gale reference books and full-text articles from hundreds of periodicals. Search for people by name, occupation, nationality, birth or death place, OR combine criteria using the advanced search.

Chronologies   back to top

The American Years: A Chronology of United States History, Scribner, 1999.
Main Level, Reference:
R 973.0202 G914A
Year by year look at what US government was doing on the national, state, and local levels and the major events in business and industry, as well as the  arts, sciences, education, religion and literature.

Encyclopedia of American Facts & Dates, Harper & Row, 1987.
Main Level, Reference: R 973.0202 C237E
Covers topics “ranging from explorations, treaties, battles, and politics to sports, theater, movies, crime, literature, philosophy, science, and religion” for the years 986 through 1986.  Read down the columns you learn about events in chronological order in a single subject.  When you read across the columns you get a picture of all the important events in all subjects for any year.”  Includes an extensive index.  

The Timetables of American History, Simon & Schuster, 1996.
Main Level, Reference: R 973.0202 T482T
Presents major events in American history in the context of major events happening elsewhere in the world – in the categories of History & Politics, The Arts, Science & Technology, and Miscellaneous. Includes an extensive index.

Research Process / Style Guides   back to top


Reader’s Guide to American History, Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997.
Main Level, Reference: R 016.973 R227R
A series of essays describing and assessing books on 600 different topics (events, individuals, and broader themes and issues) in American history. Contains a thematic list, as well as a general index and cross-references with essays from abolitionism to Brigham Young.

United States History: A Multicultural, Interdisciplinary Guide to Information Sources, Libraries Unlimited, 2003.  
Main Level, Reference: R 016.973 P426U
Identifies and describes hundreds of reference books [published through 2002] pertaining to American history arranged by topic with full descriptive, and in some cases, evaluative annotations.

Humanities: Documenting Sources [Research and Documentation Online], Bedford/St. Martins, 2003.

Writing Center, Presbyterian College
Citation styles, writing guides, and scheduling an appointment with a tutor.

Locating Books   back to top


Use the online catalog to locate books in Thomason Library. You can search by author, title, keyword, or subject.

  • Search for a person, as AUTHOR or SUBJECT, with last name, first name:              

Schoultz, Lars   [as AUTHOR]

  Schoonover, Thomas David [as AUTHOR]  
  Roosevelt, Theodore [as AUTHOR]  
  Roosevelt, Theodore   [as SUBJECT]  
  Guevara, Ernesto   [as SUBJECT]  
  • SUBJECT searching requires use of Library of Congress subject headings. The terms below are examples of subject headings related to this class:

Latin America -- Foreign relations -- United States


United States -- Foreign relations -- Latin America

  United States -- Foreign relations -- Central America  
  United States -- Relations -- Central America  

Panama Canal (Panama) -- History

  Panama -- Foreign relations -- United States  
  Cuba -- Relations -- United States  
  Latin America -- History -- 1830-  
  Latin America -- History -- 1898-1948  
  Coffee industry -- Latin America -- History  
United States -- Foreign Relations -- El Salvador
  United States -- Foreign Relations -- El Salvador (in PASCAL Catalog)  


Subject searching is an effective and precise method of searching the catalog, however, KEYWORD searching has benefits, also.

  • Try a KEYWORD if you are unsure of the exact title or the correct subject heading to use. Search using two or three of the most significant words from the title or subject you are trying to find. Place phrases in "quotation marks."

  • Connect words with AND, OR, NOT to focus your search.
  • Try truncation at the end of a word stem to retrieve singular, plural, and other variations of the word.  Use an asterisk (*) to truncate from 1 to 5 characters. Use a double asterisk (**) to include word endings with an unlimited number of characters.

KEYWORD Searching Tips

Add * to the root of a word to truncate or expanda term:
imperialis* = imperialist, imperialists, imperialism, etc.
· Use AND between words to narrow your search
Roosevelt AND Panamal Canal
· Use OR between words to expand your search

Belize OR British Honduras

trade OR commerce

When combined with an "AND" search, group "OR" terms in parentheses (nesting)
(trade OR commerce) AND latin america*
(imperialism OR colonialism) AND latin america*

Try KEYWORD searching with THOMCAT, other library catalogs & library databases


PASCAL   back to top

PASCAL Catalog - If you need books in addition to those found at Thomason Library, try your search in this statewide catalog for books in other academic libraries in SC.


PASCAL Catalog searching is similar to searching in THOMCAT. An added BONUS in THOMCAT is a pass-through from search results in THOMCAT to the same search results in PASCAL with one click on the PASCAL icon. The pass through is available on any search at any level.

  • A PC book you need is checked out? Click the PASCAL icon for other copies available in SC.

  • Need more items on a subject? PASCAL items on that subject are just a click away.

Through PASCAL Delivers, you can order books online for delivery within 3-4 working days. This service for current PC students, faculty, and staff is a project of PASCAL- Partnership Among SC Academic Libraries. Borrowers will be notified by e-mail when requested items arrive at Thomason Library. Click here for searching and ordering tips.

WorldCat and Interlibrary Loan (ILL)   back to top


A catalog of books and materials at libraries worldwide. Try searching here to find ALL books available on a topic. Materials available at Thomason Library are highlighted and others can be borrowed through ILL or searched in the PASCAL Catalog.


Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

ILL is available to PC students, faculty and staff in order to share resources between libraries. Be sure to allow enough time for ordering articles or books not available at PC or through PASCAL Delivers. Click link above for instructions.

Locating Articles:   back to top
Articles, Essays, Book Chapters back to top

The following journal databases are available to PC students, faculty, and staff from on- and off-campus locations.  Search using terms dealing with your topic.

Academic Search Premier [EBSCOhost] 
Approximately 550 of the more than 8000 periodicals indexed are history-related journals and magazines, with full-text articles for many of them.

U.S. History in Context [Thomson Gale]
Events, issues and current information in U.S. history from journal articles, reference, and primary source materials. (Many of the encyclopedias listed above are indexed in this searchable resource.)


A searchable archive of full-text journals covering all disciplines while providing more full-text access in the library's electronic databases. This archive covers the full run of journals from the first issue of volume one; however, the most current three to five year issues of the journals are not available as specified by the publishers in their agreements with JSTOR.

Project MUSE Basic Undergraduate Collection
Current and recent volumes of over 111 core journals in the humanities and social sciences

Journal Finder   back to top


Search Journal Finder to determine if PC has full text for the journal, magazine or newspaper article you need. Library databases are connected by Journal Finder and lead you to full-text when available.


Search or Browse

Journal Finder

by Title, Full Text Online, Subject, or by Database name

  1. Note the date of the journal issue you need before following Journal Finder link.
  2. Default search is Journals by Title in Full Text. Type the title of the journal or magazine in the empty box below (example:Smithsonian).
  3. You may need to select your title from the results. Click on the title you seek.
  4. Results for your title include up to three categories: Full Text Resources in your library (in print), Full Text Resources Online, and Indexing Only (not full text).
  5. Note the "dates available" in a Full Text category. Click on a database that covers the date you need.
  6. Choose, year and issue OR volume and issue, then look through the contents of that issue for the article you need. Articles are usually listed in page number order and are available in HTML or PDF format.

Primary Sources:   back to top
General Sources   back to top

Using Primary Sources on the Web
[Reference & User Services Association, American Library Association, History Section]

American Decades Primary Sources, Thomson Gale, 2004.
Main Level, Reference: R 973.9 Am35A suppl. [10 vols]
A companion to the American Decades series providing insight into the seminal issues, themes, movements and events from each decade of the 20th century through oral histories, songs, speeches, letters, photographs, advertisements, cartoons, and newspaper articles compiled in a print volume for each decade.

New! American History in Video [Alexander Street Press]
This collection is an exclusive collaboration with A&E Television Networks and features important documentaries and series from The History Channel®, A&E Network®, and Biography®. Historical coverage ranges from the early history of Native Americans, to the lost colony of Roanoke, to the 1988 Vicennes Affair in the Persian Gulf. Biographical coverage ranges from eighteenth century figures such as Benedict Arnold and Daniel Boone to modern day figures such as Thurgood Marshall and Helen Thomas. Search or browse-- powered by Semantic Indexing and searchable transcripts synchronized to video—gives the ability to drill down in seconds to find the footage of interest from thousands of hours of video.

Historic Newspapers & Periodicals  

back to top

The New York Times Archive [ProQuest Historical Newspapers]
Full-text & full-image of NYT articles with coverage from 1851 up to three years ago.

 America’s Historical Newspapers, 1690-1876 [NewsBank Archive of Americana]
A searchable database with issues from over 700 historical American newspapers from 23 states and the District of Columbia focusing largely on the 18th and early 19th centuries. Select specific titles or search publications by state.

The Nineteenth Century in Print: Periodicals [Library of Congress] 
Twenty-three popular periodicals digitized by Cornell University Library and the Library of Congress, including literary and political magazines, as well as Scientific American, Manufacturer and Builder, and Garden and Forest: A Journal of Horticulture, Landscape Art, and Forestry. The longest run is for The North American Review, 1815-1900.

Historic U.S. Documents   back to top

A Chronology of U.S. Historical Document [University of Oklahoma, College of Law]
Provides a chronology of approximately 150 significant documents from the Magna Carta (1215) to President Bush’s 2007 State of the Union Address, with links to the full text.

 Primary Documents in American History [Library of Congress]
Significant documents are presented for three eras: 1763-1815, 1815-1860, and 1860-1877.  “For each item on these lists there is a page with background information about the document, a list of links to digital materials concerning that document from the Library's site and elsewhere, and bibliographies both for general readers and for younger readers.” 
Access note: often have to read carefully through the guide to find the link to text of the actual document.

American Presidency Project [University of California, Santa Barbara]
Contains most of the  public messages, statements, speeches, and news conference remarks of the President's from 1789 to the present, except for the years 1914-1928. Proclamations, Executive Orders, and similar documents that are published in the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations, as required by law, are usually not included for the presidencies of Herbert Hoover through Gerald Ford (1929-1977), but are included beginning with the administration of Jimmy Carter (1977).

Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, 1929-2000 [University of Michigan]
Papers and speeches issued by the Office of the Press Secretary for Presidents Hoover through Clinton with subsequent volumes to be added as published.

A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1789-1897, 1895-1900
Upper Level:
353.03 R394C [10 vols]
Presidential proclamations, addresses, messages, and communications to Congress, as well as “every message of the Presidents transmitting reports of heads of Departments and other communications” with explanatory editorial footnotes. Includes index and appendices in volume 10.
Access note: title on spine reads “Papers of the Presidents.”

Latin American Documents   back to top

LANIC: Latin American Network Information Center

The Latin American Network Information Center (LANIC) is affiliated with the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) at the University of Texas at Austin. LANIC has received funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and UT Austin's College of Liberal Arts. LANIC is a key component of the International Information Systems, also based at UT Austin.

LANIC's mission is to facilitate access to Internet-based information to, from, or on Latin America. Our target audience includes people living in Latin America, as well as those around the world who have an interest in this region. While many of our resources are designed to facilitate research and academic endeavors, our site has also become an important gateway to Latin America for primary and secondary school teachers and students, private and public sector professionals, and just about anyone looking for information about this important region. (from web page).

El Salvador : War, Peace, and Human Rights, 1980-1994

Contains 1,384 United States intelligence, defense, and diplomatic records representing 6,614 pages of formerly secret documentation produced by the highest levels of the U.S. government.

The collection brings together a wealth of primary source materials, tracing the human rights catastrophe that gripped El Salvador throughout its terrible civil conflict, and providing a comprehensive record of the decisions behind U.S. policy in the country and the region during the final decade of the Cold War. Included are documents charting Washington's policy toward revolutionary upheaval in Central America, U.S. efforts to influence El Salvador's political arena, the debate within Congress over supporting the Salvadoran government during the war, and the role and impact of non-governmental organizations in influencing policy. The set also contains substantial information on El Salvador's political landscape, economic conditions, military and guerrilla forces, foreign policy, and peace negotiations

The CIA in Latin America

A collection of documents relating to CIA involvement in human rights violations in Central America, and to Terry R. Ward, the CIA official fired in a 1995 scandal for failing to inform Congress about the CIA's ties to human rights abuses in Guatemala.

Get Help   back to top
Stop by the
Reference Desk

Teresa Inman 833-8313
Dan Lee 833-8437


Hours: 8.30 am - 10 pm for research questions & assistance. Personal appointments also available.
Copyright © 2008 by Presbyterian College • 503 South Broad Street • Clinton, South Carolina 29325 • 1-864-833-2820