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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Handbook of Latin American Studies?

The Handbook is a selective annotated bibliography of scholarly works on Latin America. Edited by the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress, the multidisciplinary Handbook alternates annually between the social sciences and the humanities. The print edition, published by the University of Texas Press, includes over 5,000 bibliographic entries each year. More than 130 leading scholars from throughout the world choose and annotate these items. Continuously published since 1935, the Handbook offers Latin Americanists an essential guide to available resources. Today, in addition to the print edition, the Handbook is available for electronic searching on a CD-ROM (HLAS/CD), published by the Fundación Histórica TAVERA (Madrid, Spain), and via the Internet.

Works reviewed include books, journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers in the disciplines of Anthropology (including Archeology and Ethnology), Art, Economics, Geography, Government and Politics, History, International Relations, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Political Economy, and Sociology. From Volume 54-56, the Handbook included a section on Electronic Resources for Latin American studies. Since Volume 57, the electronic resources appear together with the discipline they cover.

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How do I determine what a journal abbreviation stands for?

Most of the journals appear as abbreviations in the bibliographic citations. Consult the Current Journal Abbreviations List to find the full title and publication information for journals since volume 50. The entire list is the most up-to-date version. The Retrospective Journals List [volumes 1-49] is also accessible for searching. However, most occurrences in retro volumes (1-49) do have the full title of the journal following the abbreviation. If you have any trouble with an abbreviation, please contact HLAS and we will provide the full journal title for you. If it is available to you, you can also consult the print edition of HLAS to locate the full journal information in the back-of-the-book index.

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Where can I find the full text of the article or book?

HLAS Online is an annotated bibliography. To find the full text of an article or book, you must search in your local or university library. The majority of works included in HLAS are in the Library of Congress collections, however, please first try to find the material at your library. Many fee-based databases offer subscriptions to full text of journal articles, and some journals offer full text to their own material for free on the Internet. If your institution makes use of linking technology, you may be able to connect directly from an HLAS bibliographic citation to the full text of an article. For detailed instructions on how to set this up, see the OpenURL page on HLAS Online. You may also check with your local library to see if they have a subscription to any full-text databases.

You can also consult the Links to Full-Text Scholarly Journal Databases Page compiled by HLAS staff. This page offers a selective list of locations where you may be able to locate full text of the materials you are seeking.

You may also be able to use Interlibrary Loan, which is available through many local and university libraries in the US and throughout the world. More information can be found on the Library's Interlibrary Loan Web Page. If you still cannot find the work, please contact HLAS and we will try to help you locate the material.

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What are the differences among formats of HLAS?

For a detailed summary of the differences among the various Handbook products, you can read a paper entitled The Handbook of Latin American Studies: Its Automated History and a Comparison of Available Formats that specifically addresses the development of electronic formats and their strengths and weaknesses. There is also a chart that explains the various functions of the 2 products: HLAS Online and HLAS/CD.

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How do I access the first 49 volumes of the Handbook?

Anyone with a desire to search the historical record will want to consult HLAS Online. Currently citations are available for items in volumes 1-64. In addition, the HLAS introductory essays for volumes 1-49 are available via HLAS Online [] by typing "general statement" using the Full Citation and Annotation button. If you'd like to pinpoint a certain discipline, geographic region, or range of years, simply add a search term to the search box (i.e., history) and/or limit the search to a certain volume or range of volumes.
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