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Research Guide: Spanish Language, Literature and Culture

Finding Books

Using Catalogs: Use the WSU online catalog to find location and availability of books and other media in Stewart Library. Most books are located on level two of the library in the General Collection under the call numbers beginning with PC4000 (Spanish language) and PQ6000-8000 (Spanish literature) and PB1 (language learning).

Use World Cat to find books in other libraries. For home or off campus access please use your WSU Login. Stewart Library Interlibrary Loan services will order for you.

Subject Searching: Depending on the focus of your research, use some of the following criteria and terms to focus your search in catalogs and databases:

  • by subject: poetry, comedy, picaresque,
  • by author: Allende, Cervantes
  • by places: Spain, Latin America, Chile
  • by time periods: Spain - History - 711-1516, Golden  Age, 20th century
  • by other issues: Cordoba (Spain) - Islamic Influences

Library of Congress Subject Headings include

  • Spain - Civilization, or social life and customs
  • Spanish Literature
  • Spanish Language
  • Ethnic groups -- [country]
  • Ethnic relations --[country]
  • Literature and society --[country]
  • [name of country] 

For literary criticism, use the term "Criticism" and the name of an author or title in the catalog to find books analyzing specific author's works. For example: enter  criticism Cervantes as a general keyword search in the catalog. Other useful subject headings may include: Literature - History and Criticism, Rhetoric, Deconstruction, Feminist Criticism, Formalism, and  Literary Analysis.

Electronic Books: 

From Bookstores: Order books online from Amazon Books, Barnes and Noble or Yahoo Books Page. Also use Books in Print sources as needed.

Interlibrary Loan : If we do not own a particular book or article you need, we will borrow it for you from another library through Interlibrary Loan.

Reference Resources

Reference resources include encyclopedias, dictionaries and other materials you use to "refer" to. Use these resources for background information on a topic. For home or off campus access please use your WSU Login.



  • Diccionario Critico Etimologico Castellano E Hispanico - Stewart Library, Main level, REF PC4580.C6 1980 (v.1-4)

  • Diccionario Enciclopedico Planeta - Stewart Library, Main level, REF PC4625.D4 (v. 1-10)

  • El Diccianario Castellano De Ejemplos Practicos  - Stewart library, Main level, REF PC4445.H675 1995


  • Grove Dictionaries of Art and of Music -

    Handbook for Latin American Studies - multidisciplinary bibliography on Latin America consisting of works selected and annotated by scholars. (not full text)

  • Latin American Reference Resources - Dictionaries, encyclopedias, calendars, calculators, weather, etc.

  • Literature Resource Center (includes Contemporary Authors, Dictionary of Literary Biography and other materials) -  Literature Resource Center provides access to biographies, bibliographies and critical analysis of over 90,000 authors from every age and literary discipline. Search by Author Name, Title, Genre, Literary Movement or Literary Themes. A great place to start any literature research project or paper. Many Spanish speaking authors are listed.
  • Biographies (Wilson) - More than 46,000 full-text profiles of authors, artists, prizewinners, politicians, world leaders, musicians and more. Covers the Ancient World to the present. Use Remote Access if off campus.
  • Enciclopedia Encarta - Spanish version of popular encyclopedia.


Listed below are some selected examples. Use the catalog or browse the shelves to see many more reference books on literature and literary criticism.

  • Concise Encyclopedia of Latin American Literature - Stewart Library, Main level, REF PQ7081.A1 E56 2000

  • Country Studies  -  Government Documents D101.22: 

  • Culturegrams - Reference Table 9A GT150.C85. Handy summary of practical information for the traveler; touches on the social customs and the economic, political and historical characteristics of the country useful for the visitor to know. 

  • Encyclopedia of the Third World - HC59.7.K87. Provides a compact, balanced and objective description of the dominant political, economic, and social systems of 122 countries of the world. 

  • Encyclopedia of World Cultures - Reference Table 9A GN307.E53 1991. Volumes cover 1,500 cultures from around the world. Each entry includes information on cultural relations, kinship, marriage and family, religion, and a bibliography. 

  • Europa World Yearbook - Reference Table 9A JN102.E852 . Provides a detailed profile on each country with a good statistical survey on key economic statistics. 

  • Encyclopedia of Latin American Literature - Stewart Library, Main level, REF PQ7081.A1 E56 2000

  • Handbook of Latin American Studies  General Collection Z6105.H23 (v. 1-38)

  • Spanish American Authors: The Twentieth Century - Stewart Library, Main level, REF PQ7081.3 F57 1992


There are several good sources for book reviews. These are useful for  they include:

  • Book Review Digest - Reviews of fiction and nonfiction in magazines and journals.  Search by author and publication date to find review excerpts and references to reviews in other publications.
  • Books in Print with Reviews  - Some full text reviews. 
  • Libros En Espanol - search for a book by author or title, scroll down to see both editorial reviews and review excerpts from major publications and customer reviews from interested readers.
  • The New York Times Book Reviews - Search the books archive for full text book reviews and news since 1996.
  • All of the article databases below can also be used to find book reviews and critical articles.

Finding Articles


To find articles on your topic you need to use article databases, also known as periodical indexes. Each database usually covers a group of subject related journals. Search by subject or keyword in these indexes. Most indexes are available from off campus. 

  • MLA - MLA International Bibliography is usually the best index for researching literature and literary criticism topics. MLA provides article reference for articles in literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore in several languages, including Spanish, back to 1963. Updated ten times per year.
  • Arts & Humanities Search - Citations from many of the world's leading arts and humanities journals. 1980 - present, updates weekly. 
  • EbscoHost en Espanol - Search Ebscohost databases with a Spanish interface. Most articles are in English. Includes:
  • Academic Search Premier - Provides some full text articles in over a thousand magazines and journals
  • Business Source Premier Coverage includes management, economics, finance, accounting, and international business topics. Selected full-text.

ARL Latin Americanist Research Resources Project - Index to selected Latin American periodicals. Not full text.

See other Arts and Humanities databases




Current magazines and journals on literature and literary criticism can be browsed in the Current Periodicals Area, in the "PC" and "PQ" section on the library's middle level. Bound volumes of older issues are found on the top level in call number order. The library subscribes to the following journals:

  • Bulletin of Hispanic Studies  PC1.B936 (Also online from 1/2000)

  • Hispanic Review  PQ1.H673 (also online from 1990 in Academic Search Premier)

  • Revista De Estudios Hispanicos  PQ1.R4544

  • The Modern Language Journal  PB1.M72 (also online from 04/01/1996 to present in Education Full Text)

  • Foreign Language Annals  PB1.F711


The library subscribes to many electronic journals in comparative literature including:

Web Resources

Here are some WWW sites to get you started. Most of these will take you to other links, so explore!






Research Tips

Updated March 2, 2010 . Please send comments to Carol Hansen, Craig Bergeson, Alicia Giralt, Tom Mathews, Tony Spanos or Jeffrey Stokes
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