Chicano Studies Resources

“Aztlan,” by Emilio Aguayo (1971). Located at the Ethnic Cultural Center, University of Washington. Photo by Eric Hamilton.

About this Guide

This guide helps students find print and electronic resources on topics regarding Chicano Studies. Use the tabs to navigate through the pages of this guide.

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Print Reference Books

These resources are available in the Reference section of the Luria Library:

  • Dictionary of Chicano Folklore — R 398.0972 C355d
  • Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity and Society — R 305.8 S294e
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America — R 317.3 V413
  • Hispanic Literature of the United States: A Comprehensive Reference — R 810.9868 K16h
  • The Mexican American Experience: An Encyclopedia — R 973.04 M511m
  • The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States — R 973.0468 O12e
  • The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures: The Civilizations of Mexico and Central America — R 972.01 C313o

Online Reference Books

Luria Library also subscribes to many electronic reference sources. If you are off-campus, you will need to log in with your Pipeline username and password to access these resources:

Reference Databases

These resources are available online and will require your Pipeline account information when you access them from off campus:

  • Credo Reference
    Contains the full text of nearly 600 encyclopedias, dictionaries, bilingual dictionaries, and other reference books.
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library
    Contains the full text of encyclopedias and specialized reference sources.


Search the library catalog (books+) for books on your topic. Try searching with some of these keywords:

    chicano* (searches chicano or chicanos)
    mexican american women
    mexican american men
    mexican americans
    chicano* and politics
    chicano* and identity

Because of the range of names for groups with which people identify, you may also find useful sources with broader keywords such as ethnic studies, hispanic, latina, or latino.


Search for articles in these databases to find academic/peer-reviewed articles, as well as newspaper and magazine articles:

  • Academic Search Complete
    A great starting point for research on any topic.
  • Ethnic NewsWatch
    Journals, magazines, and newspapers from ethnic and minority presses. The current collection, Ethnic NewsWatch™, covers 1990-present, and the historical collection, Ethnic NewsWatch: A History™, spans 1959-1989.
  • History Reference Center
    This resource covers all time periods of U.S. and World History.
    Contains articles from hundreds of scholarly journals covering a wide range of subjects in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Full text articles are available, from the first issue (sometimes going back over 100 years) until five years ago.

Primary Sources

Primary Sources are first-person accounts or direct evidence of the topics or events you are researching. They may include letters, diaries, photographs, autobiographies, records such as birth certificates or land deeds, treaties and other government documents, news footage and eyewitness articles, plays, movies, works of art, speeches, interviews, oral histories, memoirs, architectural plans, and many other kinds of artifacts.

Secondary Sources

Secondary sources analyze, summarize, interpret, or comment on primary sources. They are usually created by someone who did not experience an event first hand. They may include biographies, scholarly journal articles, literary criticism, political analysis, news reports other than first-hand accounts, reference books, and textbooks.

What About Newspapers?

Some sources may be considered primary or secondary, depending on how you use them. For example, a 1969 newspaper article that discusses the moon landing that year could be considered a secondary source. But if you are interested in how NASA was portrayed by the media during the Cold War, the same article could be considered a primary source as an historical artifact. Watch Newspapers – Primary Source? for more information.

Primary Sources in Library Databases

Some of the library databases include primary source materials. To access these resources from off campus, you will need to log in with your Pipeline username and password:

  • History Reference Center
    When you search for your topic, use the ADVANCED SEARCH and select PUBLICATION TYPE = PRIMARY SOURCE DOCUMENTS. Or you can select the PRIMARY SOURCES tab found in the menu to the left of the list of results after your search.

Primary Sources on the Internet

You can also find primary sources materials through several free websites. Many of the sites listed under the Websites tab of this guide also include primary sources on specific aspects of Chicano history, life, and culture:

  • American Memory Project from the Library of Congress
    This resource provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that continue to shape America, serving the public as a resource for education and lifelong learning.
  • Calisphere
    Contains text and images from California history and culture.
  • Farmworker Movement Documentation Project
    A collection of primary sources on the history of the United Farmworkers, from the UC San Diego Library.
  • El Teatro Campesino
    Special collection at UCSB.

Evaluating Websites

Figuring out whether the information you find online is credible enough for college research can be challenging. Use the P.R.O.V.E.N. Source Evaluation Questions to help you determine whether the sources you find are credible:

  • Purpose: How and why the source was created. Is it intended to educate, inform, persuade, sell, or entertain? Do the authors, publishers, or sponsors state this purpose, or try to disguise it? Why was this information published in this particular type of source (book, article, website, blog, etc.)? Is the source designed for the general public, students, or experts?
  • Relevance: The value of the source for your needs. Does the type of source meet your assignment’s requirements? Does the information answer your question, support your argument, or add something to your knowledge of the topic? Is it too general or too specific? Is it too basic or too advanced?
  • Objectivity: The reasonableness and completeness of the information. Do the authors present the information thoroughly and professionally? Is it fact or opinion? Is it biased? Do the authors use strong, emotional, manipulative, or offensive language? Do they leave out, or make fun of, important facts or alternative perspectives?
  • Verifiability: The accuracy and truthfulness of the information. Do the authors support the information they present with strong factual evidence? Do they cite or provide links to other sources? What do experts say about the topic? Can you verify the information in other credible sources? Does the source contradict itself, include false statements, or misrepresent other sources?
  • Expertise: The authority of the creators of the source. What makes the authors, publishers, or sponsors of the source authorities on the topic? Do they have related education, experience, or other expertise? Do they provide an important alternative perspective? Has the source been reviewed in some way, such as by an editor or through peer review?
  • Newness: The age of the information. Is your topic in an area that requires current information (such as science, technology, or current events), or could information found in older sources still be useful? When was the information presented in the source first published or posted? Are newer sources available that would add important information to your understanding of the topic?

For more help locating reliable information online, see the Finding Credible Web Sources research guide.

Additional Information on the Web

Explore these resources for additional information:

Citation Guidelines

Below are some resources for creating citations for sources found on the internet and through library databases. More resources are available on the Citation Guides page.