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SP 278 / LA 278 Narratives, Artifacts & Monuments of Pre-Columbian Civilizations: Fall 2016


Latin American Network Information Center (LANIC): Includes directories and guides to Internet-based resources in the field of Latin American studies

Mesoweb: An exploration of Mesoamerican cultures

Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies (FAMSI)

For even more resources, check out these Colby Library Guides:


  •  Credo REFERENCE   (includes Routledge Encyclopedia of Cultural and Social Anthropology, Encyclopedia of Archeology & other works)

Spanish Librarian

Karen Gillum's picture
Karen Gillum
Miller Library 107B
(207) 859-5123

In-office hours: T 10:00-11:00; F 11:00-1:00


Many databases allow you to check a box to narrow your results only to articles in academic journals, which are by and for scholars.

Scholarly or Academic journals...

  • report original research in a specific discipline
  • use in-text citations and bibliographies
  • typically contain peer-reviewed articles

EBSCO Databases If you use one, you can add others to your search by clicking on Databases in the top menu bar.

Other Databases

Photo: Palenque (Mexico). Source: Brongaeh, Flickr.


Doing BOTH Keyword and Subject searches can help you find better results!


  • Experiment with synonyms and related terms
  • Use an asterisk to stand in for letter variations  (maya*  = maya, mayan, mayans)
  • Use quotation marks to "glue together" a phrase  ("Latin America")
  • The right connector can help refine your search
    • AND narrows a search because results must contain both terms (recitation AND sung)
    • OR widens a search because results can obtain either term (theme OR motif)
  • Search Strings combine the above elements “oral tradition” AND (rule* OR law*)

Use background reference materials to identify alternative keywords. Find additional keywords in the indexes of books and within articles.


Find one good item? Look at its item record to see if there are Subject Headings. Click on these links to find similar items. CBBcat uses Library of Congress Subject Headings. Unfortunately, these headings sometimes use outdated terminology, but once identified they can often provide much more precise search results than using keywords. Examples of LOC Subject Headings:

  • Oral Tradition
  • Folklore
  • Indians of Mexico -- Antiquities
  • South America -- Antiquities
  • Maya art
  • Aztec painting
  • Tzotzil Indians -- Folklore
  • Totonac Architecture

Searching shortened LOC headings (Inca instead of Inca Architecture), using Subject in the drop-down menu (instead of keyword), can take you inside the LOC Subject Tree. This can be a great way to browse and explore topics.

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OneSearch: A discovery tool that's best when doing very precise searches (for a specific article, book reviews, book chapters, etc.). Check CBBcat and appropriate databases first.

     Advanced Search


2nd tab down: Books & More
SEARCH the Entire CBB Collection, or just Colby.

To order books from the Colby Storage Facility, Bates or Bowdoin: Click on 

If you still can't find what you're looking for, search further afield using:

Materials not available at Colby or our partner institutions can often be obtained through ILLiad, our interlibrary loan service.


To find more films, search CBBcat (More Search Options or Advanced Search) changing "Search Entire CBB Collections" in the drop down menu to "Video/DVD/Streaming."

Latin American Studies Librarian

Laine Thielstrom's picture
Laine Thielstrom

Please don't hesitate to come to me for assistance or questions!
Email me your best dates/times to meet or stop by my office, Miller Library 107C.

Spring 2018 Office Hours:
Tuesdays: 1-2:30pm
Wednesdays: 1-2:30pm
(except 5/8 12-1:30pm)
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