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Mexican American & Latino/a Studies

Use this guide to help navigate your research in Mexican American and Latino/a Studies.

Using Primary Sources

What are Primary Sources?

Primary sources are research materials that are considered to be as close to the origin of the topic of study as is probably available. 

Some common examples of primary sources in social sciences and humanities research include:

  • Diaries, Letters, or Ledgers
  • Emails, Social Media Posts, or Photographs
  • Newspaper Articles
  • Clothing and other Personal Belongings
  • Sound or Video Recordings

Primary sources can also include books, interviews, and more! Whether a source is considered primary depends on the research context.

UH Libraries has an extensive web guide on Primary Sources, especially as they relate to those that can be found in our Special Collections. Consult the guide on primary sources to learn more:

Where Can I Find Primary Sources?

Listed below are a few University of Houston resources for accessing primary source materials relevant to Mexican American and Latino/a Studies. If you are interested in additional primary sources pertaining to the Houston area, be sure to check out the Houston Area Resources section of this guide!

Special Collections

three books on a shelfUH Libraries has a Special Collections department that stores and provides secure access to rare and unique materials, including archives, manuscripts, rare books, or other original materials. Most of these materials are considered primary sources, although sometimes that categorization depends on the context of your research.

Special Collections is located on the 2nd floor of the Blue Wing in M.D. Anderson Library, and has its own hours that are different than the rest of the library's hours.

The online lesson, How to Find Archival Materials in UH Special Collections, will help you to learn more about how to use the Special Collections at UH Libraries. The staff in Special Collections are also available to help you find primary source materials.

Online Databases

a computer iconDepending on what you are looking for, you may be able to find valuable resources in our online database collections. The databases listed below are a selection of resources relevant to research in Mexican American and Latino/a Studies. 

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