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Catalog and Finding Aids

There is no single catalog of the Hispanic collections in the Library of Congress. The Hispanic Division was realigned in 1944 to concentrate on acquisitions and reference activities. Custodial ownership of the Hispanic collections we then held was assigned to a variety of other divisions within the Library of Congress. In other words, we now provide a guide to the reader in search of material throughout the Library of Congress' collections through a variety of different tools.

The main tool for identifying materials in the Library is the Online Catalog of the Library. The Library of Congress also provides a means of searching the collections of other library catalogs through the Gateway to Library Catalogs. In addition to this, our librarians have a wide variety of tools, both online and in book form that can be used in the Library of Congress to locate a variety of material that may be available throughout the world. For example, the existence of articles relating to Latin American subjects can be found utilizing the Handbook of Latin American Studies. Once the citation is found, it may have a Library of Congress Call Number allowing one to request the printed source. Additionally, the Handbook may also provide a link to recent online full-length items. Otherwise, the Handbook will provide you with the title of the journal which can be searched in the Online Catalog.

Law material should not be overlooked. Because of the unique situation as the Congressional library of the United States, the Law Library maintains its book and manuscript collections apart from the rest of the Library. This includes constitutional histories, official gazettes of various countries (one should remember that in many cases the gazette was the first newspaper in a particular country), and other legal publications. They have a separate card catalog that differs from the Online Catalog.

Manuscripts, in most cases, are kept in the Manuscript Reading Room. Many are listed in the Online Catalog or in their Online Finding Aids. The Hispanic Division has an extensive unpublished listing of Latin American and Spanish manuscripts in the Manuscript Reading Room.

Music, Theater and Dance are found in the collections of the Performing Arts Reading Room. They provide a listing of Finding Aids, Bibliographies and Guides.

Newspapers and Current Periodicals can be found in the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room. They provide a page of Search Tools to help ascertain what materials they have and what you can use to search elsewhere. The Handbook of Latin American Studies provides a page of the periodicals they review under their Journal Abbreviations. Titles for periodical publications are found through searching the Online Catalog. Country specific online newspapers, radio, and even some television links may be found through the Media and Communications section of each country in the Portals to the World for Iberia,the Caribbean, and Latin American countries.

Photographs and other illustrative material may be found in the Prints and Photograph Division's Online Catalog, otherwise you may have to search the files located in the Prints and Photographs Reading Room, or search through relevant books. The bibliographic record of each book indicates whether it has illustrative material (by the term ill. or illus. in the collation statement ). There is no indexing of the individual illustrations in a given book other than what the book itself may provide.

Sound files are located in the Library in the Recorded Sound Section's SONIC database and/or (you should check them both) the Online Catalog limiting material to the type: "Non-music Sound Recording." In addition, the Hispanic Division has the Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape available for researcher to listen to in the Hispanic Reading Room.

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  December 3, 2010
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