Using the Collection

The University of Florida Latin American and Caribbean Collection ranks among the finest in the world. It contains approximately 500,000 volumes, 1,100 current/active serial titles, some 50,000 microforms, and a growing amount of digital information and access.  The Latin American and Caribbean Collection itself is one of a small number in the United States that maintains its own stacks, reading room, and reference services. The Latin American and Caribbean Collection Reading Room is located on the 3rd floor of Smathers Library.

Approximately 70% of LACC holdings are in Spanish, Portuguese, and French. While the remainder is largely in English, the Collection contains items in Dutch, Haitian Creole, and a number of indigenous languages. Coverage is broad and covers all disciplines and Latin American and Caribbean geographic areas.  Particular emphasis is on the Caribbean and Brazil, and to many scholars the University of Florida’s Caribbean holdings are considered the best in the field.

The resources of the Latin American and Caribbean Collection are supplemented by those of the research collections in Library West and the other branches and units of the University of Florida Libraries. The collections now comprise more than 4 million cataloged volumes, 4 million microforms and extensive holdings of government documents, maps, archival material, and digital items.

To complement the Latin American and Caribbean Collection, a campus library staff of bibliographers, archivists, special collectionists, support staff, and reference librarians work to develop and oversee local branch holdings and services. These other units include the Marston Science Library for tropical agriculture and development materials, and the Map Library, which has some 500,000 maps and atlases, with approximately 55,000 of these dealing with Latin America and the Caribbean.

Under the Department of Special Collections is the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, which contains over 2.5 million pages of Spanish Florida archival materials, gathered from years of microfilming in Spain’s Archivo General de Indias. Caribbean manuscript collections include the Rochambeau and Jeremie papers on colonial Haiti, and the Braga Brothers Sugar Collection, one of the premier archival sources on the development of the Cuban sugar industry, comprising over 1.2 million business and social history documents from the late 19th century and the 20th century. The Rare Books Collection holds many unique and scarce Latin American imprints, with notable Cuban holdings.

Additionally, the Architecture and Fine Arts Library, the Health Science Center Library and the Legal Information Center coordinate with the Latin American and Caribbean Collection in areas of collecting and user services.

The Latin American and Caribbean Collection of the University of Florida is an institutional member of SALALM (the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials) and LASER (Latin American Studies Southeastern Region).