Collections and resources at the Latin American Centre Library

A pair of hands flicking through a card catalogue


The Bodleian Latin American Centre Library houses about 16,000 volumes, together with journals, a wide-ranging grey literature collection, microfilms and DVDs. Our collections are relevant to many University students reading a wide variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses that include studies in Latin American economics, politics, social sciences and the history of the continent.

The library subscribes to over 20 journals, including popular titles like Proceso and Semana, and academic ones such as the Latin American weekly and regional reports, the Latin American Research Review and Quehacer. Our monographs and journals are written in Spanish, Portuguese and English, with some material in German and French. We have papers on trade unions and agriculture, as well as American PhD politics theses on microfilm.

Books published after 1991 and all current journals are catalogued on SOLO, the University’s library catalogue. Our card catalogue in the hall covers books published before 1991 and journals to which we no longer subscribe. The card catalogue is classified by author, and subject by country.

Some of the materials kept in the country boxes appears on neither SOLO nor the card catalogue (although the boxes are currently being retrospectively catalogued). 

LAC theses

The library holds the best MPhil thesis and the best MSc essay for each year of Latin American Centre students (2014 – present). The library also houses a small collection of Oxford theses in the subject area, principally those relating to the MSc Public Policy in Latin America, including essays submitted for the MSc Public Policy (1986 – 2009). Find out more about how to access theses held by the library.  


We have a growing collection of films and documentaries. These can be borrowed by members of Oxford University or viewed in the library. Our collection includes films and documentaries about current affairs, history and politics. Latin American films with more aesthetic purposes can be found at the Taylor Institution Library and the Language Centre Library.  

You can search for films via SOLO. DVDs are available on closed access. Please ask at the library office if you would like to borrow or watch them. Some of the DVDs are recorded in non-European regions, and you may want to use our multi-region DVD player/television located in the library stacks.

Read the library's Collection Policy for Latin American Studies (PDF).

New resources

Since 2010 we have been adding our latest acquisitions to our LibraryThing pages, where they can be browsed. 

The Latin American Studies subject specialist, Frank Egerton, is keen to hear from academic staff on all matters relating to the library’s provision for the subject area. Please send reading lists for taught courses to the subject specialist.

If you wish to recommend a book, journal, film or e-resource for purchase by the library, please use the Bodleian Libraries online form or contact the subject specialist directly.

Special collections

The library has several special collections, including Colin Clarke’s Oaxaca Collection (see below) and our Institution and Private Collection Boxes, such as the Bevan Collection and material on CEDES and CELA.

In addition, the library has recently received a significant collection of documents relating to Colombian economic history, generously donated by Rosemary Thorp. The material is mostly 20th century and covers a wide range of subjects such as coffee, transport and finance. We are in the process of organizing this collection.

View a full list of catalogued material (PDF). If you would like to access this material, please ask at the library office.



Colin Clarke is an Emeritus Professor of Geography at Oxford University and an Emeritus Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford. In 2003, he gave his Mexican and Central American books to the Bodleian Latin American Centre Library. At the core of this donation was a specialist collection on the Mexican state of Oaxaca, dealing with its geography, history, demography, economic development, anthropology and archaeology.

This collection, purchased in Mexico and the UK, was put together between 1976 and 2000, when Oxford University Press published Professor Clarke's book Class, Ethnicity and Community in Southern Mexico: Oaxaca's Peasantries. The collection contains more than 500 books and journal offprints, bibliographies, gazetteers, typescripts and census materials. The census materials run from before the Mexican Revolution until 1990, and focus on population (though some agricultural, commercial and industrial data are included).

The collection would be indispensable for any humanities or social sciences researcher working on Oaxaca. If you would like to access this material, please ask at the library office.



The Bodleian Libraries Visiting Fellows Programme offers scholars from outside the University the opportunity to carry out periods of research into our special collections material.

As part of the programme, there are two fellowship schemes for research into any topic and in any field using the special collections: the Humfrey Wanley Fellowships and the Sassoon Visiting Fellowships. The Latin American Centre and the LAC Library wish to draw these fellowship opportunities to the attention of potential visiting scholars who are interested in working with the wealth of special collections material held by the Bodleian Libraries in the field of Latin American Studies and History. Once in Oxford, there would be further opportunities to lead a discussion at the Latin American History seminar series at LAC and to learn more about the exciting Latin American research taking place across the University.

If you would like to have an informal discussion about the programme, please contact the LAC Librarian, Frank Egerton ( or the Latin American Centre Administrator, Lucy Driver (


Latin American Studies subject guide

Find out more about the Bodleian Libraries' extensive collection of e-resources in the subject area.

Caribbean Studies subject guide

This guide offers more information on this subject to researchers and students. Different types of resources including books, journals, theses and films can be accessed from this page.

Databases A-Z: Latin American Studies

Browse databases in the subject area.

Latin American Studies Index

These guides have been created to help you make the most of Oxford's extensive resources. Some of the guides are dedicated wholly to Latin American topics, whilst others are more general with sections on the region.

Latin American History

An introductory guide to sources for Latin American history.