General policies and principles for the Library's collections are stated in the General Collection Development Policy.

Purpose of the Collection

The purpose of the Chicana and Chicano Studies Collection is to develop a research level collection related to the historical and contemporary conditions of Chicanas/os (Mexican-Americans) and Latinos living in the United States.

The primary location within the UCSB Library for Chicana and Chicano Studies related materials is the Colección Tloque Nahuaque (CTN), located in the Ethnic and Gender Studies Library in Davidson Library. To a lesser extent, the CTN functions as a public community resource for information on the Chicana/o Mexican-American experience.

Whenever possible the Chicana/o Studies collection strives to be a library of record. Accordingly we attempt to acquire all that is published documenting the experiences of Chicanas/os and Mexican-Americans in the United States.

The goal is to support instruction and research programs of the University, the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, the Chicano Studies Institute (as an Organized Research Unit of UCSB), and, in the Girvetz School of Graduate Education, especially its Language and Literacy and Culture and Development Research Focus Areas.

The collection supports research and instruction up to the Masters level; it also supports the research of faculty and students through the PhD level who are actively working on Chicana/o Studies topics in the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department as well as in departments across the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, and the Division of Social Sciences.

Materials focusing on Mexico, Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal, are covered by the Collection Policy for Latin American and Iberian Studies. Materials on Mexico-U.S. Immigration and Emigration and transnationalism as well as materials relating to the US-Mexico border region are selected in consultation with the specialist for Latin American and Iberian Studies.



The following areas are the primary collection areas for Chicana and Chicano studies in the UCSB Library:

  • Art
  • Education
  • Film studies
  • History
  • Literature
  • Literary criticism
  • Memoirs
  • Sociology
  • Political Science
  • U.S. Mexico border studies

The Chicana/o Studies collection does not collect in the areas of Spain, Latin America, the Caribbean, Meso-America nor Mexico, except selectively where these areas influenced the historical or contemporary conditions of Chicanas/os Mexican-Americans, and Latinos in the United States.

Geographical Coverage

The Chicana/o Studies collection contains materials about Chicanas/os and Mexican-Americans in the United States regardless of the place of publication. CTN includes resources concerning Chicanas/os and Mexican-Americans in the United States and that area of the United States known as Aztlán.


Materials for the Chicana/o Studies collection are acquired in their original language. Since most materials are published in English or Spanish these are the primary languages of the collection. Occasionally materials published in a different language are also acquired in English translation.

Chronological Limits/Period Coverage

The time period of the collection covers from 1848 to the present with particular emphasis placed on literature produced from the early 1960's and continuing to the present.

Publication Dates

Most materials selected for acquisition are published in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Types of Materials Collected

The following formats are collected: serials; monographs; conference proceedings; dissertations; and audiovisual materials. Reference materials, research monographs, and academic journals have a high priority in acquisition. North American university press titles are received on approval. Both scholarly and mainstream works from academic and trade publishers are acquired.

Primary Source materials and original documents that relate to Chicana/o Studies are housed in the California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives (CEMA) which is part of Special Collections in the UCSB Library.

E-books are emphasized over hard copy (paper) publications of whenever available. Journal access may be print or electronic. To maximize limited resources, most journals will NOT be available in more than one format; in general, electronic versions are preferred, so long as they have reliable and perpetual access.

Reprints are generally not acquired unless augmented, revised, or containing some other new intellectual material. Textbooks are not actively selected.

Systemwide and Other Resources

UCSB collections serving Chicana/o Studies benefit heavily from the library’s participation in serials and research databases that are licensed by UC’s California Digital Library and funded by the UC campuses, including the Chicano Database (Ebsco Host) and the Hispanic American Periodicals Index. Students, faculty and staff of UCSB have access to Interlibrary Loan services for obtaining materials from other campuses. For some acquisitions, other UC campus Chicana/o Studies specialists are consulted for shared collection development decisions. Through its membership in the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), the library provides access to millions of print and digital archival documents and other materials from around the world that are otherwise difficult to obtain and preserve.

Related Collection Development Policies

Subject librarian: Salvador Güereña
Policy Last Updated: April 2015