September 15 to October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S. While the name might be the focus of some debate, we welcome the reminder to explore and celebrate the vibrant cultures of Mexico, Central and South America, and the Hispanic Caribbean. The Artstor Digital Library offers many collections that specialize in or are substantially devoted to Latin American topics; here is a selection to get you started.


Tabernacle. Mexico, second half of the 18th century

Tabernacle. Mexico, second half of the 18th century. Image and original data provided Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros.

Not surprisingly, Artstor is strong in collections concentrating on the arts of Latin America, such as Jacqueline Barnitz: Modern Latin American Art (University of Texas at Austin), which features modern art from Mexico and ten other Caribbean, Central, and South American countries; and Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, including colonial, modern, and contemporary Latin American art.

We also offer substantial documentation of the great Mexican muralists who started in the 1920s, among them Diego Rivera (Detroit Institute of Arts), showing images of preparatory sketches and other works by the influential Mexican artist; Mark Rogovin: Mexican Murals, documenting 20th-century murals in Mexico; and The Jean Charlot Collection (University of Hawai’i at Manoa), which includes Mexican art and archaeology, particularly relating to the revolutionary artists and writers of the 1920s.

Of interest to folklorists, Mexican Retablos (Jorge Durand and Douglas Massey) features contemporary examples of traditional religious folk art as a source of sociological data for the experiences of Mexican migrants to the United States.


Hotel Sevilla, Havana, Cuba

Hotel Sevilla, Havana, Cuba. Early 20th century. Image and data provided by Alka Patel Archive. © 2003 Alka Patel

Architecture in Latin America is well-covered by Hal Box and Logan Wagner: Mexican Architecture and Urban Design (University of Texas at Austin), focusing on Pre-Columbian and 16th- and 17th-century colonial sites, but also including post-colonial structures from the 18th to 20th centuries; and Alka Patel: South Asian and Cuban Art and Architecture, field photography including a selection of Cuban architecture of the 18th through early 20th centuries. As for contemporary architecture, ART on FILE: Contemporary Architecture, Urban Design, and Public Art provides digital photographs of the architecture of Mexico City and Buenos Aires.


Rene Burri, Ernesto Che Guevara during an exclusive interview in his office in Havana, Cuba. (1963)

Rene Burri, Ernesto Che Guevara during an exclusive interview in his office in Havana, Cuba. (1963). Source Image and original data provided by Magnum Photos ©Rene Burri / Magnum Photos

Revolutions, civil wars, elections, and other events in Chile, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and other countries from the 1950s to today are amply documented in Magnum Photos and Panos Pictures.

Restoration of Cultural Monuments in Oaxaca, Mexico (The University of Texas at Austin) documents two restoration projects of Mexican architectural landmarks in Oaxaca: the Templo y Exconvento de Santo Domingo de Guzmán and Teposcolula Open Chapel. A few collections present more unusual cultural artifacts, notably Cuban Heritage Collection (University of Miami Libraries), which is composed of black and white photographs of Cuba from the early 1900s to the 1930s depicting various aspects of the life, architecture, and culture of Havana and other Cuban towns.

Ready for more? Discover 11 open collections perfect for Hispanic Heritage Month and celebrate the diversity of Hispanic heritage

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