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Teaching Central America with The Latin American Library

Guide geared to present a wide array of materials on Central America from The Latin American Library for use by K-12 instructors


This library guide contains many resources on Central American history and cultures, mostly housed at Tulane University’s Latin American Library.  The guide is geared to present a wide array of materials and ideas for teaching to spark imaginations in building lesson plans that include the region.  It is mainly targeted to K-12 instructors but is equally useful for advanced researchers looking for primary and secondary sources on the region.  

The Latin American Library is today the premier repository in the United States for the study of Central America, particularly from the 19th century to the present. We house rare manuscripts, maps, printed books, pamphlets and newspapers, as well as significant holdings of images in a variety of formats. While the holdings relating to the centuries of Spanish rule (16th century to 1821) do not include extensive collections of manuscripts, such as there are for Mexico, the post-Independence period is strongly supported by rich and varied primary and secondary materials collected for more than seventy years.

Among the key Central American holdings are the personal papers of prominent business and political figures such as Independence leader Francisco Morazán, 19th century German-Guatemalan coffee magnate Erwin Paul Dieseldorff, and several generations of the Chamorro family of Nicaragua. Other collections span a variety of disciplines and time periods: the letterbooks of President Joaquín Zavala Solís of Nicaragua, and the papers of Honduran composer Manuel de Adalid y Gamero.

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