Mexican-American History

This pathfinder is a guide to help you begin your research. As sources and topics in the history field are vast, these are only representative examples of the research paths you can pursue. For more assistance, you may contact the librarian.

Keywords or Subject Search words (Examples)


Undocumented Migrants

Chicano literature

Hispanic americans

Illegal aliens

Migrant labor

Migrant workers


Mexican Americans and mass media

Mexican Americans–Civil rights–History.

Mexican Americans—Biography

Mexican Americans—California

Mexican Americans–California–East Los Angeles–Social conditions

Mexican Americans–Poetry.

Mexican Americans—Women

These are examples only to help get you started on your paper.  You can use these terms to search in any of the databases mentioned here:  Polaris, Credo Reference, JSTOR, and so on.

Yuba College Library Online Catalog

Polaris is Yuba College Library’s Online Catalog system.  Students can perform searches of the Library’s holdings, find related texts, using the column on the left panel on the returned listings page, and check on the availability of texts, among other things.

Additionally, at the top of the home page, in tabular format, the student can search a dictionary and thesaurus.  There are also additional search functions available.

Browsing Areas In Yuba College Library Shelves

The Library uses the Dewey Decimal System to catalog its holdings. If students are browsing the Yuba College Library shelves for their paper, the following sections of the Library would be most helpful:






REF 305.5

REF 327.73

REF 810.9868

REF 860.9

REF 972. and 973

Yuba College Subscription Databases

Credo Reference

“Credo Reference is an online reference service made up of full-text books from the world’s best publishers. Whether you’re working on a research paper, trying to win trivia or just curious, Credo Reference has something for you.”

Students can use the general query field to do searches on, for instance, Mexican-Americans, or they can access the Advanced Search page and return more detailed results.  The Advanced Search page is here:

In the Advanced Search, students can narrow their article searches by relevance, date of publication, subject, and types of media.


Students may search with a general query or through Subjects, including US History.  If one chooses US History, a student can change the Keyword on the next page to suit their paper’s topic.  A search for “Mexican-Americans” retrieved 33 documents.  A student can further narrow these searches by clicking a sub-subject box (ie., “Social Conditions” or “Women”).


Used by millions for research, teaching, and learning. With more than a thousand academic journals and over 1 million images, letters, and other primary sources, JSTOR is one of the world’s most trusted sources for academic content.

The Advanced Search key allows the student to narrow the dates of articles, and use multiple query fields at once.


Students may access multiple databases on ProQuest by clicking on the drop-down arrow on the Database field, allowing searches across subject databases.  Searches can additionally be narrowed by Date of Publication, Full-Text Documents, and/or Peer-Reviewed articles.


ABC-CLIO is an award-winning publisher of reference, contemporary thought, and professional development content, created to help students, educators, librarians, and general readers of all ages wrestle with complex challenges.  A great database for searching in History and Government.  

AztlanA Journal of Chicano Studies

Print and digital versions are available at Yuba College Library.  Online access from campus only.  Off campus must create a user account first on campus.  Established in 1970, Aztlán is the journal of record in its field and publishes high-quality, original research relevant to or informed by the Chicano experience. Issued semi-annually, the interdisciplinary, refereed journal has a focus on scholarly essays in the humanities, social sciences, and arts, but also publishes thematic clusters of shorter articles in its dossier section, an artist’s communiqué, and a review section. Aztlán seeks ways to bring Chicano studies into critical dialogue with Latino, ethnic, American, and global studies.

Anthologies (print)

Aztlanan anthology of Mexican American literature, ed. by Luis Valdez and Stan Steiner.  Publisher, Date: Knopf, 1973.

Yuba College Library Shelf location:  917 V233

Essays on la mujer / part one edited by Rosaura Sánchez, part two edited by Rosa Martinez Cruz.  [Los Angeles] : Chicano Studies Center Publications, University of California, Los Angeles, c1977, 1978 printing.  Subject:  Mexican American Women.

Yuba College Library Shelf location:  301.41 ES73

Online (Free Web) Sites

Library of Congress Authorities

Using Library of Congress Authorities, you can browse and view authority headings for Subject, Name, Title and Name/Title combinations.  Students will be able to generate additional Subject areas concerning Mexican-Americans, to aid them in narrowing the focus of their papers.

United States Department of Labor—Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is the principal fact-finding agency for the Federal Government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics. The BLS is an independent national statistical agency that collects, processes, analyzes, and disseminates essential statistical data to the American public, the U.S. Congress, other Federal agencies, State and local governments, business, and labor. The BLS also serves as a statistical resource to the Department of Labor.

American Fact Finder—United States Census Bureau

Provides highly searchable database for population, housing, economic, and geographic data.

Google Scholar

Provides a search of scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources, including theses, books, abstracts and articles.

Online (Free Web) Video

Chicano! The History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement

The entire documentary is provided here in six separate video clips.

Program: WLIW21 Ethnic Heritage [PBS Video]

Episode: The Mexican Americans

Duration: (57:22)

Premiere Date: 11/03/2009

Episode Expires: None

TV Rating: NR

“The Mexican-American story has been woven like a vibrant serape of timeless traditions and cultural connections.”

Online Supplementary Help

The Historian’s Toolbox: Skills for History Majors

Thirteen web-based tutorials organized into six units which guide a student through the process of researching and writing a student research paper.

Citing and Writing/Style Manuals

Offers links to current information on the main citation manuals:  APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian.


BibMe is a free automatic citation creator that supports MLA, APA, Chicago, and Turabian formatting. BibMe leverages external databases to quickly fill citation information for you. BibMe will then format the citation information and compile a bibliography according to the guidelines of the style manuals. If you prefer, you can enter your citation information manually. BibMe also features a citation guide that provides students with the style manuals’ guidelines for citing references.


Penny Foolish about a squabble over farmer worker’s pay with Burger King

Lemon Grove incident
: San Diego Journal of History

ACLU Documents: Border issues

Andanzas al Web Latino: Border issues

Association for Borderland Studies

Chicano Park, San Diego, California

Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies

Five Views: An Ethnic Historic Site Survey of California
 (National Park Service)

Frontera Norte Sur
: monthly newsletter on border issue

La Prensa: San Diego Latino newspaper online. (CC also has print copies on shelves)

Latin American Network Information Center

Lemon Grove incident: San Diego Journal of History

MANO: Mexican American neighborhood Organization, San Diego

Mexican American\Latino Manuscripts at UT

AustinNALEO: the national association of Latino elected officials homepage

Hispanic Online – NB: links to Hispanic Magazine, Vista Magazine, and Hispanic Trends

Digital Libraries

UT Borders culture collections

Gilder-Lehrman Institutue of American digital History: “Digital History” helps you to learn about Mexican-American history.

South Texas Border digital library: photos

Frontera: Digital library of Mexican-american music by UCLA

Border encyclopedia


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