image of Spanish manuscript

Hispanic History and Culture

The Huntington’s Hispanic collections contain printed and manuscript materials, maps, and photographs from countries where Spanish has been the predominant language or continues as a strong cultural presence. Geographically they range from the Iberian Peninsula to the Americas, and chronologically from the 15th century to the present. They support transnational and borderlands studies as well as the history of Indigenous peoples and the history of colonialism.

For earlier periods, the holdings concentrate on Spanish rule in California and Mexico. By the 20th century, the state of California is the emphasis. Resources from Spanish-governed Mexico and California illuminate the economy, religious life, Indigenous peoples, and administration of the area. These include Mexican Inquisition records, letters and books of religious orders, mission records, and governmental administrative papers, such as those of the Spanish visitor-general José de Gálvez. The Library’s collection of 16th-century Mexican imprints is extensive. Especially important are its works on Native American languages.

Government broadsides and the collections of Californio families, such as the de la Guerras and the Morenos, are examples of the important sources for Mexican California. Twentieth-century holdings that document political history range from the papers of conservative Catholic activist Pedro Villaseñor to those of pioneering Latina politician Gloria Molina. Other collections from the era include the records of the most important Spanish-language newspaper in the United States, La Opinión, and the papers of its owners, the Lozano family. Recent collecting activity centers on under-documented aspects of Mexican American history, such as the immigrant experience.

Resource Guides:
Early California Population Project Research Guide
Los Angeles Area Court Records Research Guide
Manuscripts for the Study of Iberian, Latin American, and Latino History in the Huntington Library, 1400s–1900s
Newspaper Collections Research Guide

Digital Resources:
Los Angeles Prefecture Records 1825–1850
Volume A: Los Angeles Prefecture Records
Volume 1: Los Angeles Prefecture Records, 1834–1849
Volume 2: Los Angeles Prefecture Records, 1840–1850

Banner image credit: Dotrina christiana en le[n]gua Española y Mexicana: : hecha por los religiosos de la orde[n] d[e] s[an]cto Domingo, 1548. RB 106426. Purchased from H.R. Wagner, 1923.