Skip Navigation Links The Library of Congress >> Researchers
Hispanic Reading Room (Area Studies, Library of Congress)

Versión en español - Versão em português

General Information

About the Collections

Online Collections, Presentations & Exhibitions

Bibliografía anotada sobre alimentación, ... en el mundo ibérico

DISTANT NEIGHBORS:  The U.S. and the Mexican Revolution

Exhibition on the Cultures & History of the Americas

Exploring the Early Americas

First book published in New Mexico
(in 1834)

Guides & Finding Aids

New finding aids:
Romy Medeiros da Fonseca papers, 1949-2007
Mexican Revolution newspaper clippings archive, 1911-1913

Kraus Coll.: Sir Francis Drake

Louisiana: Explorations and the Louisiana Purchase

Spain, the U.S., and the American Frontier

The United States and Brazil: Expanding Frontiers, Comparing Cultures

Collections in other Divisions

Hispanic Reading Room

Upcoming Events


National Hispanic Heritage Month

A joint project of the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Read the current news from the Hispanic Division


Spotlight on U.S. Hispanic Writers The Hispanic Division and the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress have launched a collaborative series of recorded interviews, “Spotlight on U.S. Hispanic Writers.” This series is co-sponsored by Letras Latinas, the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Link to Handbook of Latin American StudiesHandbook of Latin American Studies Online, an annotated, searchable online bibliography on Latin America from 1936 to the present. There is also a New Handbook Interface containing items from vol 49 (1989) to the present. Searching on the two files may be different.

Hispanic banner

Want to know about your Hispanic Heritage?
Within the Library of Congress you have the Hispanic Reading Room* available to you as a touchstone to enable you to find your ancestors, your culture, and your history.  All within a room that exudes the atmosphere of 16th Century Spanish Colonial architecture.

Not everything starts with Don Quixote, but look at what the BBC says about our room:,

Within the Library of Congress you have the Hispanic Reading Room available to you as a touchstone to enable you to find your ancestors, your culture, and your history.  All within a room that exudes the atmosphere of 16th Century Spanish Colonial architecture.

We do have computers and wi-fi access which may stretch the Colonial atmosphere a bit.  Add to this atmosphere the services of specialists, a ready-reference collection, and reference librarians that speak your language, know your culture, and can point out materials throughout the collections of the Library of Congress.  Come and visit.  Look at our reading room, our outstanding murals, and of course, ask questions. Our doors are open during the working week from 8:30-5:00.

In 1944, the Hispanic collections were dispersed throughout the Library and the Hispanic Division became a Reference and Acquisition center for the vast Iberian, Caribbean, Central and South American collections.  Hence, while we buy materials for the Library, we keep tabs on where this material goes.  In addition to the 3 million books in Spanish and Portuguese in the Library, we also provide help regarding materials in the indigenous languages south of the border.  We even have recordings of major literary figures reading their own works so you can listen to Spanish-language poetry read by the authors themselves  A few have even recorded poems in Aymara, Quechua, and Nahuatl.  Nahuatl, the language spoken by the Aztecs captured the attention of the Spanish and we even have a facsimile of the Florentine Codex in our reference collection. It consists of three volumes in an illustrated bilingual text telling about the flora, fauna, customs, history of the Aztecs and their vassals. There is an English translation of the text and recently, the World Digital Library, put the Florentine Codex up online  The Florentine Codex even includes an illustration of Malinche, the translator of Cortes

If you are interested in the culture and history of a particular country you may want to look at The Handbook of Latin American Studies which will lead you to selected books and especially articles in the Social Sciences and Humanities.  The Library of Congress’ online catalog will lead you to the wide panoply of items available you can request in the Hispanic Reading Room or in other reading rooms.

Weekdays: 8:30am - 5:00pm
Closed Weekends
and Federal Holidays

Reference Assistance
and Contact information

Thomas Jefferson Bldg., Room LJ240
101 Independence Ave, SE
Washington, D.C. 20540-4850

Map showing location

Ask a Librarian
Ask a librarian linkWant to send reference staff a question about our collections and services.

The Hispanic Reading Room has free
Wireless Internet Access

Databases & Electronic Resources
(Many are only available to users in the reading room)


Chronicling of America -- Panama Canal

Mexican Revolution newspaper clippings archive, 1911-1913

Science Reference Guide on:
Latinos in Math & Science:
Resources for kids, young adults and teachers

Music Guides:

See the page on the Performing Arts Blog concerning the Chilean National Anthem

Bahamian American Song

Basque American Song

American Song

Portuguese American Song

Puerto Rican Song

Spanish American Song

The Hispanic Reading Room serves as the primary access point for research relating to those parts of the world encompassing the geographical areas of the Caribbean, Latin America, and Iberia; the indigenous cultures of those areas; and peoples throughout the world historically influenced by Luso-Hispanic heritage, including Latinos in the U.S., and peoples of Portuguese or Spanish heritage in Africa, Asia, and Oceania.
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  September 23, 2014
Legal | External Link Disclaimer Contact Us:  
Ask a Librarian