Spanish Research Guide
Choose a topic that is interesting to you and which will work within your assignment's parameters. Usually your research goal is to locate published scholarship (books and journal articles) to read on your topic.
Remember to evaluate the accuracy of your resources, and think critically about their arguments. When in doubt, check with your instructor in the Hispanic Languages and Literatures Department.
First, read a good summary of a your topic in an encyclopedia, like those listed in the Books section. Second, once you know the basics on your topic, search for more published scholarship, such as books in the CUNY Catalog or other catalogs.
Encyclopedias & Dictionaries
- Historia de la literatura espanola (Ref. PQ6032 .A45, 5 vols.)
- Contains preliminary criticism on authors and topics in peninsular literature .
- Oxford companion to Spanish literature (Ref. PQ6005 .O95)
- A one volume reference manual of information likely to be of value to readers of Spanish peninsular literature.
- Cambridge history of Latin American literature (Ref. PQ7081 .A1 C35 1996, 3 vols.)
- Covers the whole sweep of Latin American literature from pre-Columbian times to the present.
- Diccionario enciclopedico de las letras de America latina (Ref. PQ7081 .D515 1995, 3 vols.)
- A broad collection of critical essays on Latin American authors and topics covering the period from pre-Hispanic times to the present.
- Encyclopedia of Latin American literature (Ref. PQ7081 .A1 E56 1997)
- Contains entries on writers, works and topics relating to the literature of Latin America, including survey articles on all of the continent's individual countries.
- Diccionario de la lengua espanola (Ref. PC4625 .A3)
- Provides the 22nd edition of the Spanish Royal Academy's dictionary.
- The CUNY Catalog
- Search for books at the Queens College libraries, as well as other CUNY libraries.
- Library Catalogs
- Search the library catalogs of regional libraries such as the Queens Library, Brooklyn Public Library, New York University, Columbia University, etc.
- New York Public Library
- Search CATNYP, the catalog of the research libraries at NYPL. Books at the research libraries are non-circulating and must be consulted on site. NYPL has one of the premier research collections in the country and is open to all New York State residents.
- Search for books in the national catalog for the United States and Canada. Includes holdings from libraries in other parts of the world, primarily European or English-speaking.
Articles (Search Databases)
A journal article is written by a scholar or an expert, and provides a detailed analysis of a topic. It is written in the specialized language of a scholarly discipline (such as Sociology). It documents the resources the writer used by providing bibliographic citations such as footnotes, endnotes, and bibliography so a reader can check or repeat the research the scholar has completed.
A scholarly journal is edited by scholars, and any article published in the journal has usually been approved by the author's peers or by referees (other scholars expert in the subject who serve as editors or readers and critique the article before it is accepted for publication). This is why most scholarly journals are referred to as a Peer-Reviewed or Refereed journals. Use the following databases to search for journal articles on a topic. You can use other Databases depending what topic you are researching.
- MLA International Bibliography
- Provides citations to books, essays in books and articles in over 4,000 journals, on topics related to all literature, languages, linguistics and folklore. Its coverage from 1926 to date is worldwide and very broad in scope in both Spanish and English.
- Hispanic-American Periodicals Index (HAPI)
- Authoritative, worldwide source for information about Central and South America, Mexico, Brazil, the Caribbean basin, the United States-Mexico border region, and Hispanics/Latinos in the United States.
Journals (Browse e-Journals)
- 40+ core journals in language & literature. Cover-to-cover full-text from a journal's first issue until about five years ago.
- El ABC
- This site offers the Spanish daily newspaper from Madrid. The sections include Culture, Sports, the Economy, National and International news, Society and Editorials.
- La Nacion
- This site offers the Argentinian daily newspaper from Buenos Aires. The sections include Politics, Economics, Science and Health, Sports, Culture and other areas.
- El Pais
- The global online edition of this Spanish newspaper includes sections on national and international news, culture, the economy, society, technology, sports and more.
Reports and studies are sometimes available from the major scholarly organizations for the study of Spanish.
Continue your search for reports, studies and information by browsing these Spanish web gateways.
Tips for Researching Critical Materials in Spanish Literature
- Step 1
- Consult Reference books on the third floor of the Library. Ref PQ 6000s for Peninsular literature and PQ 7000s and 8000s for Latin American literature. Reference books are excellent starting points to get an overview of a topic, to find background material on an author or just to put your ideas in perspective.
- Step 2
- Consult book sources on the fifth floor of the Library by accessing the CUNY Catalog. Open up the CUNY Catalog on the computer and click on “guided search.” Enter the author's name you are researching as a subject in one box and a keyword or phrase from the title of the work you are researching in the next box also as a subject.
- Step 3
- Consult journal articles from the MLA database (1926-present). From the Library homepage click on “Research,” then “Databases” and finally “M” for MLA International Bibliography. At this point, make sure you click on the box marked “MLA International Bibliography with Directory of Periodicals.” In the advanced search mode, enter the author's name in one box and a keyword word or phrase from the title of the work you are researching in the next box. Keep in mind that not all the journals either in Spanish or in English in this database are owned by Queens College. For holdings, check the title of the journal in the box. If you find an essay, search the CUNY Catalog under the title of the book in which the essay appears.