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

Purpose of the Collection

The Latin American and Iberian Studies (LAIS) collection supports research and instruction for the interdisciplinary LAIS Program up to the Masters level; it also supports the research of faculty and students through the PhD level who are actively working on LAIS topics in departments across the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, and the Division of Social Sciences.

Subject Parameters

Materials supporting the Spanish and Portuguese Department are addressed in the Collection Development Policy for Spanish and Portuguese. Materials focusing on Chicanos or Latinos living in the United States are addressed in the Collection Development Policy for Chicano Studies.  Materials relating to the US-Mexico border region are selected in conjunction with the specialist for Chicano Studies.



We actively collect in Anthropology, Art History, Economics, Film and Media Studies, Geography, History, Political Science, Sociology, and Religious Studies. We also collect materials from Nuevo Leon, Mexico (see Systemwide and Other Resources for more information).

Geographical Coverage

Publications are selected for their thematic focus on Latin American and Iberian countries. Materials published in Latin America and Iberian countries that are not about Latin America and Iberia are rarely selected.


Emphasis is placed on English, Spanish and Portuguese. Indigenous language materials are preferred in bilingual editions. Materials purchased in the original language of publication are selectively acquired in English translations to broaden access.

Chronological Limits/Period Coverage

Materials are selected covering the entire history of the Americas and the Iberian Peninsula. Emphasis is placed on 20th and 21st century materials but not to the exclusion of others.

Publication Dates

Emphasis is on recent imprints, but some older works are collected as appropriate. 19th century and earlier materials are selected sparingly and only in consultation with Special Collections.

Types of Materials Collected

We collect monographs, reference tools, audio-visual materials, periodicals, and scholarly series. Conference proceedings are collected selectively. While a large percentage of content is exclusively published in print, reference tools, periodicals, edited volumes and anthologies are actively preferred in electronic format.  Dissertations are only acquired on demand. Textbooks are generally not acquired. 

Systemwide and Other Resources

UCSB collections serving LAIS 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. In addition, the Library participates in Calafia: The California Cooperative Latin American Collection Development Group, a partnership between the University of California Libraries, Stanford and the University of Southern California. Through investment in the North Mexican State Materials agreement the Library is responsible for collecting materials published in the state of Nuevo Leon. Along with the companion South Mexican State Materials agreement, this collaborative approach allows our libraries to build extensive networked collections and make accessible Mexican publications to our users at a more efficient costs per library. 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.  Of interest to this collection policy are our membership in CRL’s LAMP (the Latin American Materials Project) and LARRP (the Latin Americanist Research Resources Project). LAMP is joint effort by research libraries throughout the world and CRL to promote the preservation of publications and archives concerning Latin America and to make these materials available to researchers in microform or increasingly, digital formats.  LAARP is a cooperative initiative of North American, Latin American, and Caribbean libraries whose principal goal is to expand access to Latin American research resources by promoting a distributed model of library cooperation, enhanced electronic access, and effective document delivery.

Related Collection Development Policies

Subject librarian: Ryan Lynch
Policy Last Updated: March 2015