Spanish Language

Welcome to the Spanish Language Research Guide

Click on a tab below to find books, videos, articles, and websites for use in studying the Spanish language.

If you need additional help, please contact the Foreign Languages Librarian or stop by the Reference Desk. You can also get help from our online reference service: Ask A Librarian.

Everything is on the Internet, right? No.

Newspapers (mostly) in Spanish.
Contrary to popular opinion, there are millions of books and articles whose content is not freely available on the open web.

As we all know the Internet contains an incredible amount of useful information. Conversely, it also has a lot of information that is not credible, reliable or well-informed. Some information on the web are blatant lies, or half-truths published in order to support a particular belief or opinion. (For more information on learning how to distinguish the good, bad and ugly on the Internet, see The CRAP Test to learn how to evaluate websites.

Using resources available through the Library will save you time and frustration, and undoubtedly will lead you to producing higher-quality work.

Types of Resources:

Reference Materials:

Use reference materials, such as encyclopedias and dictionaries to get background information and a basic understanding of your topic.

Book & Journal Articles:

Books and journal articles provide a more focused examination of the topic. Again, most books and articles found in the Library's databases are written by experts.

  1. Books & Videos
  2. Databases & Journals
  3. Websites
  4. Local & Government Information
  5. Vocabulary

Finding Books

Use the COD Library's book catalog en espanol to find books & videos. Use the search fields to combine multiple search terms and limit your results by material type (book, video), date, or language. You'll need a current library card to check out books.

Searching for Spanish language books and films

The Library has a number of Spanish language films in both VHS and DVD formats. Also, many American produced movies in the DVD format have alternate soundtracks in Spanish. To locate Spanish language films in the library, try the following search terms:

  • "foreign language films" AND spanish
  • "spanish language films"
  • "feature films, spain"
  • "feature films, mexico"

The Library also has a number of Spanish readers, books in Spanish, and bilingual Spanish-English books to read. Try the following search terms in the library catalog:

  • "spanish language readers"
  • "spanish language materials" AND bilingual
  • "spanish language materials" AND fiction
  • "spanish language materials" AND poetry
Searching for books about the history and culture of Spanish speaking countries

Some suggested searches include searching by country. There are other subheadings that may be of interest too. If you are not finding what you are looking for, contact the Foreign Languages Librarian or stop by the Reference Desk.

Recommended search terms:

  • [Country] AND history
  • [Country] AND “social life and customs”
  • [Country] AND civilization
  • [Country] AND “intellectual life”
  • [Country] AND “politics and government”
Recommended Titles

The series below have books on individual countries. Click on the series titles below to see all books in that series. Books in these series may be checked out of the library.


I-Share allows you to borrow books from over 80 Illinois academic libraries. You must have a current COD library card, and create an account to request books from an I-Share library.

E-book Collections

Most books in these collections can also be located and accessed by searching in the Library's COD Library's book catalog. Under "Format" select "eBook" from the dropdown menu.

  • ebrary
  • Collection contains several books on historical and modern Spain and Latin America, including works on politics, society, economy and the arts. Many e-books can be viewed from your computer or downloaded to your e-book reader. You need to create an account to download e-books to your device.

  • EBSCO e-book collection
  • Find several books on the business and culture of Spain, Mexico, and other Spanish speaking nations. NOTE: Books can be viewed by single page on a computer, or, can be downloaded to an e-book reader. You'll be prompted to create an EBSCO account. The loan period for e-books is four hours. Books can be renewed after the initial loan period expires.

  • Humanities (ACLS) E-book Collection
  • This resource includes over 1500 full-text, cross-searchable books in the humanities selected by scholars for their continuing importance for research and teaching. This collect covers the history, culture, arts, religion, and customs and society of Spain and Latin America. Pages from this collection can be printed and emailed.

Project Gutenberg E-books

Project Gutenberg provides access to many Spanish language books and books on topics such as social life and customs, history, travel, religion and literature in Spain and Latin America. NOTE - these books are in the public domain and are typically over one hundred years old. These books will offer historical context for Spanish-related topics. Many can be read online or downloaded to e-book readers.

Reference Works

Reference works, such as dictionaries and encyclopedias are useful for learning about background information on a topic.
Please note that print reference books may be used while in the library only. Online reference books may be accessed from any on or off-campus computer. You'll need a library card to access online books and articles from off-campus.
Click on the links below to access the online book/website or record/description of the print book.

Latin American History & Culture


Film and Literature

History, Politics, and Geography

Society, Culture, and Education

Spanish History & Culture


Film and Literature

History, Politics, and Geography

Society, Culture, and Education

Spanish Language Dictionaries
  • Business Spanish Dictionary - eBook
    Available through Credo Reference. Select "Find a Book" from the horizontal menu.

  • Collins Spanish Dictionary - eBook
    Available through Credo Reference. Select "Find a Book" from the horizontal menu.


Spanish Language Feature Films

Films on Spain

Databases & Journals

The Library subscribes to many databases that provide access to thousands of popular and credible, scholarly journals. Many databases provide access to full-text articles, while some provide information about the article only (citation). Request (for free!) through Interlibrary Loan copies of articles to which the Library doesn't have full-text access.

Databases are organized collections of information that you can search on a variety of fields, like title and author's name. iTunes is a database and so is Amazon. Even your contacts list in your phone is a type of mini database. The Library has databases of articles from newspapers, magazines and journals. We also have databases of streaming videos, music and e-books. The difference between our databases and iTunes or Amazon is that our stuff is free for you to use. You can browse the library's databases here:


Viewing Databases in Spanish

Many of our databases, including any EBSCO provided database, can be viewed in languages other than English. Language options are usually located at the very top or bottom of a database page. For assistance changing the language settings for a database, visit any of our reference desks.

Databases - Best Bets

  • Academic Search Complete
  • Multidisciplinary database covering a wide range of academic areas.

  • Academic OneFile
  • Multidisciplinary database covering a wide range of academic areas.

  • Communication and Mass Media Complete
    This database includes full text for 301 journals in the areas of communication, mass media and speech.

  • CultureGrams
    A reference database of comprehensive information on world cultures.

  • Informe!
    A Spanish-language database that provides indexing, images and full text of popular Hispanic magazines.

  • An archive of digitized journal articles ranging in date from the 1700s to the early 2000s. These collections span a variety of subjects in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Physical Sciences.

  • Medline Plus Consumer Health
  • Provides information from the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, and other government agencies and health-related organizations.

  • Newspaper Source
  • Provides full text for 23 national (U.S.) and international newspapers and nearly 200 regional (U.S.) newspapers.

Spanish Language Magazines

Evaluating Websites

Who can publish on the Internet? Anyone. Learn how to evaluate websites on the Library's guide to Evaluating Websites.

Web Resources

Translate the Page

Some of the websites listed below are in Spanish. Chrome web browser does have a language translation function. When Chrome detects that a website is written in a language other than English, Chrome will offer to translate the website. Download Chrome and follow the directions below.
chrome translation service.jpg
While the translations at times are not perfect, you will get a general context of the translated text. Be careful not to rely solely on translations made by Chrome or other translating services!

Latin American History & Culture


Film and Literature


History, Politics, and Geography

Society, Culture, and Education

Spanish History & Culture


Film and Literature

History, Politics, and Geography

Society, Culture, and Education

Conversational Spanish

Dictionaries, Grammars, & Other Learning Aides

Magazines & News

Searching the Web en Espanol

  • Aprendiendo a Usar la Internet
  • A Spanish language site for beginning internet users. The site includes tutorials, lessons, and links to additional resources to aid users in searching online.

Spanish Search Engines and Portals

Spanish Directories / Gateways

Local & Government Information

Cultural Experiences

Instituto Cervantes

Government Agencies (U.S., Illinois, and Local)

United States Government

Illinois Government

Local Government

  • DuPage County State's Attorney"s Office
  • Select Spanish from the drop down menu at the top-right side of the home page
    505 N. County Farm Rd
    Wheaton, IL 60187
    (630) 407-8000
    Serves: All residents of DuPage County. Spanish spoken,
    Programs: Responsible for prosecuting all criminal acts charged in DuPage county.

  • DuPage Housing Authority
  • Website in English
    711 East Roosevelt Road
    Wheaton, IL 60187
    (630) 690-3555
    Serves: DuPage County. Spanish spoken.
    Programs: Housing assistance to families and elderly.

Private Organizations (Local)
  • Centro de Informacion
  • 28 N. Grove Ave. Suite 200
    Elgin, IL 60120
    (847) 695-9050
    Serves: DuPage and western Cook County.
    Programs: Counseling, citizenship, education, employment, health care, housing, translating and others.

  • Community Crisis Center
  • P.O. Box 1390
    Elgin, IL 60121-1390
    (847) 697-2380 (24 hour crisis line)
    (847) 697-9740 ("Ayuda" Helpline for Spanish-speaking individuals)
    Serves: Northwest Suburban Cook Co. Spanish spoken.
    Programs: Community Crisis Center provides information, referral, counseling support, suicide intervention and advocacy via the phone 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

  • Family Resource Center on Disabilities
  • Website mostly in English
    20 E. Jackson Blvd.
    Suite 300
    Chicago, IL 60604
    (312) 939-3519
    Serves: Parents, advocates and family members of children with disabilities. Spanish spoken.
    Programs: Information and referral. Outreach to minority parents. Training sessions on special education rights, advocacy, mediating, family support and negotiating skills.

  • Latin American Chamber of Commerce
  • 3512 W. Fullerton
    Chicago, Illinois 60647
    (773) 252-5211
    Serves: Hispanic and other minority businesses in Chicago and the suburbs.
    Programs: General business consulting.

  • Mexican American Chamber of Commerce
  • 111 West Washington Street
    Chicago, IL 60602-2703
    (312) 855-8783‎
    Serves: Mexican-Americans in Illinois
    Programs: Development of business opportunities.

Radio Stations

Spanish language radio stations that can be picked up locally:


  • 1200 WLXX
  • 1450 WRLL
  • FM

  • 90.7 WRTE
  • 93.5 WVIX
  • 95.5 WNUA
  • 103.1 WVIV

Spanish language radio stations available via Web broadcasting:

Study Abroad Experiences at the College of DuPage

Vocabulario para la investigación en español

(Spanish Vocabulary for Research)

El Proceso de Investigación / The Research Process
Español English
hacer investigación (en la computadora/red) to do research (on the computer/web)
hacer una búsqueda (en línea, online) to do a search (online)
los resultados results
ampliar/refinar to broaden / narrow (a search)
evaluar to evaluate
selccionar to select, choose
citar to quote, cite
las fuentes, los recursos sources, resources
Obras citadas Works Cited

Los Archivos Bibliotecarios / Bibliographic Records
Español English
la base de datos database
cita bibiográfica bibliographic citation
booleano, operador boolean, operator
número de clasificación call number
registro, archivo record
encabezamiento (de materia, autor, etc.) (subject, author, etc.) heading
palabra clave keyword
el título title
el/la autor(a) author
el editor publisher
la fecha/año de publicación publication date/year
el tomo volume
número issue number
la página (de título/portada) (title) page

Para Evaluar las Fuentes / Evaluating Your Sources
Español English
(no) es útil para… it is (not) useful for…
actual, reciente current, recent
culto scholarly
popular popular
encontrar to find
de una fuente fidedigna from a reliable source

Tipos de Recursos / Types of Resources
Español English
el libro book
la revista magazine, journal, periodical
el periódico, diario newspaper, daily
el artículo article
el ensayo essay
el discurso speech
la entrevista interview
la obra (de consulta) (reference) work
la guía guide
el video, disco video, DVD
un sitio web website
la página web web page
el enlace (web) link
la página principal home page

En la Biblioteca / In the Library
Español English
l/la bibliotecario/a (de consulta) (reference) librarian
las existencias holdings
el pedido, pedir the request, to request
el impreso, la copia printed (material), copy
imprimir to print
el texto completo full text
entrega de documentos document delivery
tarjeta de la biblioteca library card
préstamo interbibliotecario interlibrary loan
sacar to check out
renovar to renew
devolver to return
(estar) vencido to be overdue
la multa fine

Vocabulario Adicional / Additional Vocabulary
Español English
resumen Abstract
archivos Archives
Archivo adjunto Attachment
Autenticación (de usuarios) Authentication
bibliografía / literatura citada Bibliography
operadores booleanos Boolean operator
Navegador Browser
Catálogo Catalog
Disco Compacto CD
Chat / charlar Chat
Circulación Circulation
Vocabulario controlado Controlled vocabulary
Credencial / tarjeta para fotocopias Copy card
plataforma de teleformación / plataforma educativa Course management system
Obras en reserva Course reserve
descriptor Descriptor
módem telefónico Dial-up
Disertación / Tesis Dissertation
bajar Download
Libro electrónico E-Book
Editor Editor
Reserva electrónica Electronic reserve
enciclopedia Encyclopedia
Hardware/maquinaria Hardware
Acceso alta velocidad High speed access
Reservar /retener Hold
Retención de libros Holdings
Lenguaje de Marcas de HiperTexto HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
Hipertexto Hyperlink
Icono; Símbolo Icon
índice Index
Mensajería Instantánea Instant messaging (IM)
Internet / La Red Internet
Titulo de revista/Revistas Indizadas Journal title
dispositivo de almacenamiento portátil Key drive
filtrar Limits/Limiters
microformatos Microform
módem Modem
ratón Mouse
Multi-medio Multimedia
Periódico Newspaper
Catálogo en línea Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC)
Formato de Documento Portable PDF
publicación arbitrada Peer reviewed journal/td>
fuentes primarias Primary source
imprimir Print
Servidor proxy /apoderado Proxy server
Petición de reserva /reservar Recall
publicación arbitrada Refereed journal
Referencia(s) Reference
conexión remota Remote access
Renovación de préstamo Renewal
Reserva /(Reservar) Reserve
publicación arbitrada/ publicación académica Scholarly
búsqueda computarizada Search statement/search query
Fuentes secundarias Secondary sources
serie Serial
componentes lógicos Software
Estantería Stacks
manual de estilo Style manual
dispositivo de almacenamiento portátil Thumb drive
subir Upload
Localizador Universal de Recursos URL
identificación de usuario User ID
Referencia Virtual / Servicio de consulta por internet Virtual Reference
acceso inalámbrico Wireless
La Red / Internet World Wide Web
unidades ZIP / discos ZIP Zip drive/ zip disk Zip