Skip to Main Content

Library Services



Studies of the Americas

Subject guide for the UCL Institute of the Americas

Books and e-books

Books displayed on a shelf.The principal book collections for the Institute of the Americas are the American History and Latin American History collections. These collections are located on the second floor of the Main Library.

Explore is UCL's library catalogue. This is the principal tool to find books, journals and other materials (either in print or in electronic format) held in UCL libraries. On the catalogue, you will find details such as: library site, collection and shelfmark, when you are looking for print resources. In order to access e-books via Explore, you will always need your UCL user ID and password.

Print books are arranged on the shelf according to their shelfmark. For example:

AMERICAN HISTORY R 790 OBA for biographical and autobiographical works on and by Barack Obama.

LATIN AMER. HIST. D 5 CHA for a comprehensive work in the history of the Independence period, 1808-1830.

Other collections useful for the Studies of the Americas

  • Art: includes books on art from the Americas as well as books for Film Studies.
  • History: for individual European countries' political, social and economic history. It will include European history works on foreign policy or diplomatic policy with the Americas.
  • Human Rights: for national, international and comparative human rights and civil liberties.
  • International Relations: for books on relationships between countries in the Americas and further afield and including issues relating to global governance, terrorism and security studies.
  • Law: books on constitutional law.
  • French, Spanish and Portuguese: each is a separate collection in the Main Library, but taken together they are known collectively as Modern Languages. These collections include books published in each foreign language. Resources include language and literature.
  • Philosophy: books on philosophy in the Americas.
  • Public Policy: books on politics and public policy in the Americas.
  • Translation Studies: for materials on translation theory, literary translation and specialised translation.
  • Anthropology: resources relating to Spanish and Latin American cultural studies.
  • Geography: resources on physical and human geography and environmental science in the Americas.

General reference works and encyclopedias

Consult introductory material or general reference works for a broad overview of your issue or topic, and to identify key concepts, theories and researchers in the field. Introductory material may include:

  • subject or discipline specific dictionaries and encyclopaedias.
  • handbooks.
  • companions.
  • introductions.
  • guides.
  • biographies.
  • histories.

Find introductory material in Explore by combining a topic keyword with one of the material type descriptors above, e.g. The Routledge Hispanic studies companion to Latin America and the Caribbean (1492-1898).

These are some examples of introductory material available electronically for the Institute of the Americas. The list is not extensive, and you should perform your own searches on Explore to see what else is available in print in UCL Libraries.

Stores service

UCL Library Services off-site store is a closed access collection which houses important research material not currently in high demand. The material at this site will have 'Store' as its location on Explore. Users can request store material for delivery to the Science Library. Users should complete a Store Request Form in order to request material from this location.