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Core Sources in Latin American History

Primary and Secondary source resources and research strategies for Latin American History

Using Political and Legal Sources

A wide range of primary sources are found in government documents: the hearings and debates of legislative bodies; the official text of laws, regulations and treaties; records of government expenditures and finances; statistical compilations such as census data; investigative reports; scientific data; and many other sources that touch virtually all aspects of society and human endeavor.

What all these sources have in common is that they are published or are otherwise made available to the general public by a government for the general public, at government expense or as required by law. They are a government's official “voice.” Government documents are usually housed in separate sections of libraries, and have their own specialized arrangement and finding aids.  Many have been digitized and are represented in the resources listed here.

Court decisions and law codes, which are often published by for-profit publishers and are found either in the main library collection or in separate law libraries.  Again, resources containing court decisions and codes are also available on thie InfoGuide.

Select Government Sources

Legal Collections