Latin American Collections

Rainbow flower poster

Latin American Collections supports the University Libraries’ role in fulfilling the University’s mission to serve as New Mexico’s flagship institution of higher learning. It is our goal to make available extensive, valuable and difficult to access Latin American and Latina/o materials in a variety of formats, while partnering with all local national and international constituencies interested in Iberian, Latin American or Latina/o research and resources. The University Libraries has extensive electronic, print, and special collections in Southwest studies, Chicano Literature, and Latin American studies. As one of the top national collections for Spanish and Portuguese Language collections, we also serve national and international researchers outside of UNM.

The Latin American Collections represent the strongest single area of the library print materials with nearly 600,000 books in English, Portuguese and Spanish. A small but growing collection of sources in Latin American indigenous languages supplements these holdings, which are spread across all libraries at UNM. As one of the major repositories of Latin American resources in the United States, the Latin American Collections cover all of the social sciences, humanities, and fine arts as well as professional fields, including Business Administration. UNM’s holdings for Latin American Art, Art History and Photography are widely recognized among the best in the United States. 

Arriba Las Mujeres poster

The Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections offers instruction on library and special collections resources to various groups including local middle and high school pupils, undergraduate and graduate students, academic faculty and secondary teachers, as well as distinguished guests and scholars from other institutions and cultures. In the academic classroom, as in the library, the instructional mission is to promote forums for resource discovery, critical thinking, analysis, respectful debate and exchange.

Vota posterThere are significant manuscript collections as well as substantial compendiums of silkscreen and photo-offset posters, engravings, lithographs, block prints, photographs and other creative and graphic works such as chapbooks and artists’ books. These materials are held in the Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections (CSWR), located in Zimmerman library. Unique archival holdings on New Mexico as a contested territory of the Vice Royalty of New Spain (1598-1821) and independent Mexico (1821-1848) offer excellent opportunities for research in Latin American, Indigenous, Chicana/o and Southwest studies.
Herzstein Room reading nook

The Herzstein Latin American Reading Room has three areas: an actual reading room, an exhibit gallery, and a conference room. This space, surrounding Zimmerman Library’s second floor stairwell, opened in 1999. It remains a light-filled communal niche for scholars to converge around library resources and scholarly interests. The Herzstein Room is home to a large collection of Spanish and Portuguese language graphic novels. Designed around pictorial storytelling, they epitomize an established emphasis in the libraries on Latin American visual arts.

Additional materials from other institutions are accessible through the UNM Digital Repository and NM Digital Collections as reflected in the Abya Yala, Latin American Energy Policy, Regulation and Dialogue and Fray Angélica Chávez History Collections. Membership with the HathiTrust also expands electronic access to millions of digitized books from Latin America, while participation with the CRL (Center for Research Libraries’) LAMP (Latin American Microforms Project) and LARRP (Latin Americanist Research Resources Project) affords UNM access to over two million scarce research collections as well as distributed resources from 34 other Latin Americanist libraries. University Libraries is an institutional member of SALALM (Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials) and MOLLAS (Midwest Organization of Libraries for Latin American Studies). 

Together with the UNM Latin American and Iberian Institute, we host three Richard E. Greenleaf Visiting Library Scholars annually. 

About Latin American Collections   
Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections

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