University Library at St. Cloud State University

HIST 354 - Mexican Americans (Jaede)

"Chicano Legacy: 40 Años"

Artists: Mario Torero and Jorge Mariscal. University of California, San Diego campus. 2011.
Mexican-Americans, Chicanos, Xican@s ...?
One of the issues facing the researcher studying Mexican-Americans is the question of nomenclature. What do you call persons from Mexico who have emigrated to the United States and their U.S.-born children? "Hispanic" and "Latino" are not entirely accurate, as those terms also decribe persons who emigrated to the United States from Latin American countries other than Mexico, and their U.S.-born children. Indeed, one of the challenges facing anyone studying Mexican-Americans is teasing out information about Mexican-Americans from reports, studies and data collections that cover ALL Latino-Americans.

Another issue is the changing of nomenclature over time. Older entries in databases, and older journal articles (published before the 1960s) refer to Mexican-Americans variously as "Mexicans," "Hispanics," "Hispanic Americans," "Latino Americans," and "Latinos." "Chicano" as a keyword or subject heading doesn't show up in databases until the early 1960s. A keyword search for "Chicano" in any history database will not yield a result for anything published before 1962. "Xicano," Xican@," and "Xicanismo" produces almost no results. For a truly complete search, try doing several searches with several subject headings.

Here are some approved subject headings in EBSCO databases:

Mexican Americans -- (state)  [For example, Mexican Americans -- Texas, Mexican Americans -- California]
Mexican Americans -- History
Mexican Americans -- Social conditions
Chicano Movement

Generally speaking, "Mexican Americans" is the accepted term for describing emigrants from Mexico and their U.S.-born children. "Chicano," "Xican@s," and permutations of those words are acceptable, but be aware that there are many Mexican Americans who consider those words to be offensive.

Encyclopedias and dictionaries
Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures: The Pacific Region Restricted Resource Some full text availableeref
The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures is the first rigorous reference collection on the many ways in which American identity has been defined by its regions and its people. Each of its eight regional volumes presents thoroughly researched narrative chapters on Architecture; Art; Ecology and Environment; Ethnicity; Fashion; Film and Theater; Folklore; Food; Language; Literature; Music; Religion; and Sports and Recreation.

The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Latino Literature Restricted Resource Some full text availableeref
Surveys the vast landscape of Latino literature from the colonial era to the present. Aiming to be as broad and inclusive as possible, the encyclopedia covers all of native North American Latino literature as well as that created by authors originating in virtually every country of Spanish America and Spain

Encyclopedia of American Studies Restricted Resource Some full text availableeref ebook
The Encyclopedia of American Studies brings together a wide range of disciplines related to the history and cultures of the United States, from pre-colonial days to the present. It features broad, synthetic articles covering areas such as history, literature, art, photography, film, architecture, urban studies, ethnicity, race, gender, economics, politics, wars, consumer culture, and global America.
Articles and Databases
The premier journal of Mexican-American studies and history is Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies. While the SCSU Library has the most recent three years of this journal in print in the Current Periodicals Collection (first floor, near the Print Reference collection), we do not carry the full range of this journal in print or in electronic format. The journal is indexed in America: History and Life, Historical Abstracts and elsewhere; use the Inter-Library loan service to get free copies of articles (see the box on the right). 

NOTE: you may see a link attached to Aztlan records in the database: "Check LinkSource for more information." Unfortunately, the link will not take you to the full text of the journal. Again, use Inter-Library Loan.

America: History & Life Restricted Resource findit database
Search 2,000 scholarly journals on the history of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present (the rest of the world is covered in Historical Abstracts).

Historical Abstracts Restricted Resource findit database
Search over 2,000 scholarly journals covering the history of the world from 1450 to the present (excluding the United States and Canada, which are covered in America: History and Life).

JSTOR Restricted Resource Some full text availabledatabase
Provides access to scholarly journals in anthropology, ecology, economics, education, general science, history, literature, mathematics, political science, philosophy, and more. Some journals have "moving wall" access that does not include the most recent 2-5 years.

Project Muse Restricted Resource Some full text availabledatabase
Full-text access to more than 150 scholarly journals and eBooks in all disciplines published by Johns Hopkins University and several other university presses.

Subject Specialist
Picture: Michael Gorman

Michael Gorman
Associate Professor, Research Librarian
MC 140F
(320) 308-2028

Olivia's contact hours, Spring 2015

Monday, 5:00 - 6:00 pm
Wednesday, 2:00 - 4:00 pm
Thursday, 1:00 - 2:00 pm


Monday, 4:00 - 5:00 pm
Thursday, 1:00 - 2:00 pm

Please call or e-mail to set up an appointment if the above hours are not convenient
Multicultural Resource Center
Quite a few books about Mexican-Americans can be found in the library's Multicultural Resource Center (MRC), along with a rack of journals and magazines about Mexican-Americans and Latinos in the USA. The MRC is located on the first floor of the library, in the corner of the west wing.

Library Collections and Research Centers

Inter-University Program for Latino Research

UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center

National Latino Research Center at California State University, San Marcos

Historic Mexican and Mexican American Press at the University of Arizona Libraries

Mexico: Photographs, Manuscripts and Imprints at DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Benson Digital Collections at the University of Texas, Austin

New Mexico Digital Collections at the University of New Mexico


Pew Research Center - Hispanic Trends

Tomás Rivera Policy Institute

The Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University

Inter-Library Loan
As SCSU doesn't have a Chicano Studies program (we have an Ethnic and Women's Studies department, and a Chicano Studies minor rostered within that department, but not a Chicano Studies department or major), the SCSU Library's collection of resources about Mexican-Americans is not as extensive as those found in academic libraries attached to universities with established Ethnic Studies departments and programs. This may cause some frustration for the SCSU researcher. SCSU's Library has a free inter-library loan service that will get books and copies of journal articles from other university libraries at no charge. 

Interlibrary Loan (also available from the SCSU Library's main web page):

Interlibrary Loan - Request a Book:

Interlibrary Loan - Request an Article:

Login with your StarID and password to access the service. You'll receive an e-mail when your item arrives.  

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