James H. Thomason Library

SPANISH 458 Course Guide: Maymester in Mexico
Locating Background Information

Mayan ball court marker from Chinkultic, Chiapas, 590 AD.
Image source: The Bridgeman Art Library Archive [CREDO Reference Collection]

Spanish Dictionaries
  Print Encyclopedias
Online Encyclopedia (Spanish)
Circulating Books (a selection)
Locating Books
  PASCAL Catalog  
  WorldCat & Interlibrary Loan  
Locating Articles
Article Databases
Journal Finder
Locating Images
Internet Resources

Get Help


denotes recommended resource

Reference Sources  
Spanish Dictionaries   back to top

Collins Spanish-English, English-Spanish Dictionary, HarperCollins Publishers, 1997.

Main Level, Reference:  R 463.21 Sm53C

Diccionario Básico del Español de México. Dirigido por Luis Fernando Lara. Colegio de México, 1991. Main Level, Reference: R H860.3 D547D2

EBOOKSCollins Spanish Dictionary [CREDO Reference], HarperCollins, 2005.
Comprehensive and authoritative, with all the words and phrases you need, including specialist vocabulary from every field.

EBOOKSThe Concise Oxford Spanish Dictionary (English-Spanish)

      The Concise Oxford Spanish Dictionary (Spanish-English)  [Oxford Reference Online], 2004.

Completely updated to include the very latest vocabulary, the Concise Oxford Spanish Dictionary offers authoritative coverage. Brand-new features include in-text notes on life and culture in the Spanish-speaking world.

Streetwise Spanish Dictionary/Thesaurus: The User-friendly Guide to Spanish Slang and Idioms, McGraw-Hill, c2001.
Main Level, Reference: R 463.21 G41S

PRINT Encyclopedias

back to top

Use the index in the last volume of multi-volume sets to locate specific information.
Click on call # links below for item descriptions in THOMCAT.

The Cambridge Companion to Modern Latin American Culture, Cambridge University Press, 2004.  
Upper Level, Circulating Collection:
980.03 C144C

Encyclopedia of Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Cultures, Routledge, 2000. 
Main Level, Reference: R 972.9003 En19E [3 vols]

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 Mexico: History, Society & Culture
Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997.

Main Level, Reference: R 972.003 En19E [2 vols]

EBOOKS E-book Encyclopedias back to top

Gran Enciclopedia Planeta

[Spanish Reference Center, PlanetaSaber, Britannica]
A comprehensive Spanish-language encyclopedia featuring 145,000 articles plus timelines, an atlas, and a dictionary.

Readings from Enciclopedia Universal en Espanol/Gran Enciclopedia Planeta:

Mexicana, Revolución

Mexicano-Estadounidense, Guerra

Print books --(Selected titles from our circulating collection) back to top

The Mexico Reader: History, Culture, Politics, Duke University Press, 2003.
Upper Level, Circulating Collection: 972 M574M2

Mexico: A Country Study, Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, 1997.

Upper Level, Circulating Collection: 972 M574M  

La Grandeza del México Virreinal: Tesoros del Museo Franz Mayer (The Grandeur of Viceregal Mexico: Treasures from the Museo Franz Mayer). Museum of Fine Arts, Houston;  Mexico: Museo Franz Mayer, 2002.

Upper Level, Circulating Collection: 709.72 G763G

Maps back to top

Mexico , entry in World Maps [Oxford Reference Online] Oxford University Press, c2004.

Mexico Maps, Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection, U. of Texas at Austin

Includes: Country maps, Atlases and Thematic Maps, Detailed Maps, Historical Maps, Also provides links to other web sites in the following categories: Maps of Mexico, State and Regional Maps, City Maps, & Archeological Site Maps.

Mexico Maps at Mexconnect   Interactive maps. Select by state or region. Mexconnect also provides numersous articles and photographs of Mexico.

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, then first name:              
     Fuentes, Carlos   [as AUTHOR]
     Fuentes, Carlos  [as SUBJECT]

  • SUBJECT searching requires use of Library of Congress Subject Headings. The terms below are examples of subject headings related to Hispanic culture:
  Mexico -- Antiquities  
  Mayas -- Antiquities  
  Mexico -- History  
  Mexico -- History -- Conquest, 1519-1540  
  Mexico -- History -- 20th century  
  Mexico -- Guidebooks  
  Mexico City (Mexico) -- Description and travel  
  Documentary photography -- Mexico  
  Indians of Mexico -- Antiquities  
  Arts, Mexican -- 20th century  

KEYWORD searching is another option for searching in the THOMCAT and PASCAL Catalogs.


  • Try a KEYWORD search 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."
  • Keyword searching tends to retrieve more items,although some items may be less relevant 

    than with a subject search.

  • Connect words with AND, OR, NOT to focus your search.
  • Keyword also allows for using synonyms/related terms and truncation, to further increase the number of items retrieved.

  • 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 expand a term:

Mexic*= Mexico, Mexican, Mexicano, etc.
cultur* = culture, cultures, cultural

· Use AND between words to narrow your search:
  AND  cultur*

· Use OR between words to expand your search and
group words with parentheses:
Mexic* AND (food OR cuisine)

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

PASCAL Catalog / PASCAL Delivers   back to top


If you need books in addition to those found at Thomason Library, try your search here for books in other academic libraries in SC. 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 & 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 is available to PC students, faculty and staff in order to share resources between libraries. Click link for instructions.

Locating Articles back to top
Article Databases back to top

Academic Search Premier  [EBSCOhost]Pascal Logo

Search for journal and magazine articles in ALL academic disciplines.

MLA International Bibliography  [EBSCOhost]
Use for literature and language topics. Indexes critical literary and language scholarship and provides access to journals and serials published worldwide, as well as books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations, and bibliographies. Nearly 45,000 records are added annually.

ClasePeriodica [FirstSearch] Clase 1975-present, Periodica 1978-present
Clase indexes documents published in Latin American journals specializing in the social sciences and humanities. Periodica covers journals specializing in science and technology. Together, they offer access to more than 300,000 bibliographic citations from documents published in 2,600 scholarly journals published in Spanish, Portuguese, French and English. Information from articles, essays, book reviews, monographs, conference proceedings, technical reports, interviews and brief notes published in journals edited in 24 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean are found here, as well as publications that focus on Pan-American issues.

An archive of over 350 full-text journals which can be searched at this site. Other PC databases link to JSTOR articles through Journal Finder, which guides the user to full-text articles. As an archive, JSTOR does not provide the most current three to five year issues of the journals as specified by the publishers in their agreements with JSTOR.


Full-text news articles.  On search screen, limit your search to the "Major World Newspapers (non-English)" category to retrieve articles in Spanish language (as well as other languages). Includes contents of "El Universal," "El Pais," "Economista," and other publications.

Project MUSE Basic Undergraduate Collection  
Current and recent volumes of 112 core journals in the humanities and social sciences.


Journal Finder back to top

Journal Finder provides access to PC's electronic and print journals,

magazines, and newspapers in one convenient location.

Your search results in PC article databases contain many direct links to article full-text in other journal databases to which we subscribe.

If no direct links are shown, follow the
"Check Journal Finder"
link to find full-text (follow steps below).



Example of an article citation:

Chitra Ragavan, Terror on the streets,

U.S. News & World Report 137.21 [vol.issue]
(Dec 13, 2004): p 20.


If you already have a citation and are trying to find the article, click the link below and follow the steps to determine whether full-text is available for the article you need:

  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:U.S. News & World Report).
  3. You may need to select your journal 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 for that journal. If "Full Text Online" is not available, look under "Full Text in your Library" - we may have what you need in print.
  6. Choose, year and issue OR volume and issue, then look through 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.

Images back to top

ARTstor  [Library subscription]

Comprised of approximately 300,000 digital images of visual material from different time-periods, cultures, and disciplines derived from several source collections that are the product of collaborations with libraries, museums, photographic archives, publishers, slide libraries, and individual scholars.

EBOOKS The Bridgeman Art Library Archive [CREDO Reference], Bridgeman, 2005.
An outstanding archive of images drawn from collections throughout the world. Every subject, concept, style and medium is represented, from the masterpieces of national museums to the hidden treasures of private collections. Fine art is just one of the sources of images; design, antiques, maps, architecture, furniture, glass, ceramics, anthropological artefacts and many others also feature in the collection.
The Bridgeman Art Library Archive

Museo Virtual Diego Rivera
Categories include: Galeria, Mural, Video, & Biografia.

ELECTRONIC RES Internet Resources back to top


Latino Art and Design

Latino Culture and History [Encyclopedia Smithsonian, Smithsonian Institution]


La Guia, Internet Resources for Latin America [Molly Molloy, New Mexico State University]
Links to many information resources for Latin American studies including:

Public Domain Databases-Latin American

Resources listed at this site are generally available without cost to the end user. They provide access to organized bodies of data useful for Latin American research. These may provide full-text articles, statistical information, or bibliographic citations. In some cases, the public access version of the database will provide a lower level of information (citations and abstracts only). Some of these databases are created and maintained by government agencies or other public entities (universities) and provided free on the internet.


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.
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