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Primary Sources in Library Databases
Hispanic American Newspapers 1808-1980 This link opens in a new window Hundreds of Hispanic American newspapers, including both Spanish-language papers and papers published bilingually in Spanish and English. Largest compilation of Spanish-language newspapers printed in the U.S. during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection Series I This link opens in a new window U.S. Hispanic history, literature, and culture, all 50 states, circa 1610-2006. Periodical articles, books, pamphlets, broadsides, and more in full text.
Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection Series II: Leaders, Writers, and Thinkers This link opens in a new windowProvided by the Department of Foreign Languages. Focuses on the evolution of Hispanic civil rights, religious thought, and the growing presence of women writers from the late 19th and 20th centuries. Contains hundreds of rare books, over 3,000 newspaper issues (including rare anarchist newspapers), and over 250,000 pages of personal and organizational manuscripts. Content is mostly Spanish, some English.
Primary Source Collections Online
Bexar Archives Online
Documents the history of Hispanic Texas, 1717-1836. (Univ. of Texas)
Bracero History Archive
Provides "oral histories and artifacts pertaining to the Bracero program, a guest worker initiative that spanned the years 1942-1964. Millions of Mexican agricultural workers crossed the border under the program to work in more than half of the states in America." (George Mason Univ., Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Brown Univ., and Univ. of Texas El Paso)
A Continent Divided: The U.S.-Mexico War
Includes primary sources from the war such as proclamations, letters, diaries, images, maps, music, and poetry--select "Documents" in the Browse menu. (Center for Greater Southwestern Studies, and the Library at the Univ. of Texas at Arlington)
The Documented Border
This archive focuses on untold and silenced stories and events about this transnational region, with the goal to advance understanding and awareness about the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and its peoples during a period of unprecedented societal change. Includes oral histories of journalists from both sides of the border, human rights activists in Mexico, and U.S. immigration policy documentation. (Univ. of Arizona)
Documents from the U.S.-Mexican War
Documents, primarily speeches, treaties, and battle reports. (Descendants of Mexican War Veterans)
Historic Mexican & Mexican American Press Collection
Documents and showcases historic Mexican and Mexican American publications published in Tucson, El Paso, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sonora, Mexico from the mid-1800s to the 1970s. (Univ. of Arizona)
John J. Herrera Papers
John Herrera practiced law in Houston from 1943 to 1986 and was a leading civil rights advocate for Mexican Americans in Texas. This collection contains the private and public papers of John J. Herrera, 1940s-1970s, with an emphasis on his civic, business, and political activities. (Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library)
La Herencia del Pueblo: Mexican Heritage Project Photographs
Over 4,000 images document Tucson's Mexican American community from the Gadsden Purchase until World War II. (Arizona Historical Society Library and Archives)
Latina(o) Cultural Heritage Archives
(California State Univ., Northridge)
Mapping the Movimiento: Gallery
Gallery of sources used in "Mapping the Movimiento," a a self-guided GIS tour highlighting key sites in San Antonio that contributed to the Mexican American Civil Rights movement. (UTSA Libraries, Institute of Texan Cultures)
The Mexican American Family and Photo Collection
Reflects a wide range of families and individuals through photographs and documents that capture business and work experiences, festivals and community events, daily life and individual achievements. (Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library)
New Mexico Digital Collections
Provides access to digitized photographs, manuscripts, posters, oral histories, videos, maps, and books from libraries, museums, and cultural centers across the state.(Univ. of New Mexico Libraries)
Onda Latina: The Mexican American Experience
226 digitally preserved audio programs including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns from the radio series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos," the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982. (Univ. of Texas at Austin)
Robert E. Lee Mexican War Maps
The collection consists of 30 original military maps owned by Robert E. Lee; they comprise one of the most comprehensive cartographic resources for the study of the Mexican War. The bulk (28 items) were used by Lee in Mexico, 1846-1848, when he was serving as a Captain in the U.S. Army Engineers Corps. (Virginia Military Institute)
The Strachwitz Frontera Collection of Mexican and Mexican American Recordings
Archive of Mexican American music, including approximately 30,000 recordings, primarily from the United States and Mexico, issued on 78 rpm phonograph recordings during the first half of the 20th century. (Univ. of California Los Angeles)
Voices of Civil Rights
Collection of primary accounts of the Civil Rights Movement, including the Chicano and Women’s Movements as well as African American. (AARP and Library of Congress)
The Zachary Taylor Encampment in Corpus Christi, TX, 1845-1846
Images, letters, newspaper accounts, and more, of the Mexican War in the Corpus Christi, Texas, area. (Corpus Christi Public Library)
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What is a Primary Source?
Primary Sources in Print
Often a variety of primary documents are collected together into a book (usually related to a time period, topic, or theme).
Below are just a few broad collections in the Library; each book contains many original documents.
(Note: many of these books will contain both primary and secondary content, so use your judgement or ask a librarian for help in distinguishing the two).
Foreigners in Their Native Land: Historical Roots of the Mexican Americans by
Call Number: Read Online - Or print is available: E184.M5W42 1973, 4th floor
Publication Date: 1973
Dozens of selections from firsthand accounts, introduced by the editor's knowledgeable essays, capture the flavor and mood of the Mexican American experience in the Southwest from the time the first pioneers came north from Mexico.
Juan Cortina and the Texas-Mexico Frontier, 1859-1877
Call Number: F391 .C77 T48 1994, 4th floor (second copy available in the Thomason Room, 4th floor)
Scholarly work, but includes nine of Cortina's original pronunciamentos.
Tejanos in Gray: Civil War letters of Captains Joseph Rafael de La Garza and Manuel Yturri
Call Number: E580 .G37 2011, 4th floor
Testimonio: A documentary history of the Mexican American struggle for civil rights
Call Number: E184.M5 R638 2000, 4th floor
Early 1800s to the modern era, presents documents that shed light on the Mexican-American quest for life, liberty, and justice. Documents include petitions, correspondence, government reports, political proclamations, newspaper items, congressional testimony, memoirs, and even international treaties.
The World War I Diary of José de la Luz Sáenz
Call Number: Ebook, Read Online - Or print is available: D570.3 90th .S2413 2014 (4th floor)
Account of military service in France and Germany in 1918 by Sáenz, a South Texas teacher before and after the war. Published in Spanish in 1933, his annotated book of diary entries and letters recounts not only his own war experiences but also those of his fellow Mexican Americans.
Video: Finding Primary Sources in the Catalog