Mexican American Biographical Sources


no. 45, revised SEPTEMBER 1997
Editor: Ann Hartness

Mexican American biographical sources

Compiled by Margo Gutierrez

This issue of Biblionoticias revises and expands an earlier edition published in 1991. An effort has been made to include recent titles on Latinos that devote a signficant number of entries to Mexican Americans. Titles with a regional focus are also listed, particularly if information is difficult to locate elsewhere. For very current and updated biographical information, consult electronic format indexes and databases, as well as general biographical reference sources, listed below. A section for young readers has been added.

Electronic Information Sources

Chicano Database [Online]. Ethnic Studies Library, University of California at Berkeley. Chicano Database - go to and click on Chicano Database (either Web or Telnet access). The online version of the Chicano Index, this database is the major reference source for Chicano studies. Covers period 1967 to present and provides access to books, journal articles, anthologies, reports, and other printed material. Since 1992, the Chicano Database also "describes material on the broader Latino experience." An excellent source for biographical information. Available campus-wide on UT Library Online (UTLOL) Stations

Additional indexes, databases, and other electronic sources with Mexican American biographical content available on UTLOL Computer Stations are listed below. They are available to all library users, with the exception of LEXIS-NEXIS which requires a valid UT ID. When accessed from outside of the General Libraries, all of these databases require a valid UT ID. They may be accessed from the UT General Libraries World Wide Web Homepage ( by clicking on "Indexes, Abstracts, and Full Text" under which the databases are listed in alphabetical order.

ArticleFirst. 1990-present (FirstSearch).
Britannica Online
CARL UnCover
. Coverage varies.
Contemporary Authors. Available only in UT libraries on UTLOL Stations.
Expanded Academic ASAP. 1980-present.
Film Index International. Available only in UT libraries on UTLOL Stations
LEXIS-NEXIS. Coverage varies.

Print Sources

COMEXAZ News Monitoring Service. Oakland, CA: Comite de Mexico y Aztlan, 1972-1980.
An index to seven major western U.S. dailies, this clipping service provides access by personal name for the nine-year period between 1972-1980.
E 184 M5 C655 LAC o Benson Collection stacks

Chicano Index. Berkeley: Chicano Studies Library Publications Unit, University of California at Berkeley, 1990-.
The print equivalent of the Chicano Database (see above), though updates are less frequent. Access is by subject with author and title indexes. Earlier title: Chicano Periodical Index.
Z 1361 M4 C47 LAC o Mexican American Reference Collection

Chicano Literature: A Reference Guide. Edited by Julio A. Martinez and Francisco A. Lomeli. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985.
This handbook of literary criticism includes movements and genres as well as essential biographical information for approximately thirty-six Chicano writers, living and deceased.
PS 153 M4 C46 1984 LAC o Mexican American Reference Collection

Chicano Writers, First Series. Edited by Francisco A. Lomeli and Carl R. Shirley. Dictionary of Literary Biography, v. 82. Detroit: Gale Research, 1989.
Fifty-two poets, novelists, short story writers, playwrights and critics are highlighted in this volume. Only ten entries are for women writers. Articles are scholarly, detailed, and include critical references.
PS 153 M4 C48 1989 LAC o Mexican American Reference Collection

Chicano Writers, Second Series. Edited by Francisco A. Lomeli and Carl R. Shirley. Dictionary of Literary Biography, v. 122. Detroit: Gale Research, 1992.
An additional fifty-four writers are represented in this second series. As in the first volume, articles are lengthy (three to six pages), include plenty of biographical information, and are often accompanied by portraits and other illustrations. Women writers are better represented.
PS 153 M4 C484 1992 LAC o Mexican American Reference Collection

Chicanos in These Times: A Cumulative Subject Index to Articles About Chicanos in the Los Angeles Times. compiled by Francisco Garcia Ayvens. Santa Fe Springs, CA: ATM Information Services, 1985-1991.
Indexes published articles about Mexican Americans appearing in the Orange County edition of the Los Angeles Times. Covering the period July 1985 to August 1991, the index also includes references to other U.S. Latino groups.
E 184 M5 C5522 1989 LAC o Mexican American Reference Collection

Dictionary of Hispanic Biography. Edited by Joseph C. Tardiff and L. Mpho Mabunda. Detroit: Gale Research, 1997.
"Biographical information on more than 470 notable Hispanic women and men from the 15th century to the present. " Approximately 110 of the 470 profile Mexican Americans or Hispanos of the Southwest. Most articles are one to two pages long and include sources; occupation index included, but index by ethnicity/nationality unreliable.
CT 1343 D53 1996 LAC o Latin American Reference Collection

Goldman, Shifra M. and Tomas Ybarra-Frausto. Arte Chicano: A Comprehensive Annotated Bibliography of Chicano Art, 1965-1981. Berkeley: Chicano Studies Library Publications Unit, University of California, 1985.
An excellent source for biographical material on Chicano artists working in all media through 1980. Access is through detailed subject index. Material listed here is also found in the Chicano Database through UTLOL.
n 6538 m4 g642 1985 lac o Mexican American Reference Collection

Hispanic American Almanac: A Reference Work on Hispanics in the United States. Edited by Nicolas Kanellos. Detroit: Gale Research, 1993.
Twenty-five chapters "cover the range of Hispanic civilization and culture in the United States." Most chapters include biographical portraits of Latinas and Latinos who have made a difference in the fields of language, law and politics, education, women's rights, religion, literature, art, music, theatre, film, etc. Helpful bibliographical references and index.
E 184 S75 H557 1993 LAC o Mexican American Reference Collection

Hispanic Heroes: Portraits of New Mexicans Who Have Made a Difference. Edited by Rose Diaz and Jan Dodson Barnhart. Albuquerque: Starlight Publishing, 1992.
Eighteen distinguished Hispano individuals and families from the 18th century to the present are highlighted in this brief work.
F 805 S75 H57 1992 LAC o Benson Collection stacks

Hispanic Literary Companion. Edited by Nicolas Kanellos. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1996.
Excerpts of literary works by thirty-five Latina/o writers, nineteen Mexican American, are preceded by biographical information. A list of writings is found at the end of each author entry.
PS 508 H57 H566 1996 LAC o Mexican American Reference Collection

Hispanic Writers: A Selection of Sketches From Contemporary Authors. Bryan Ryan, editor. Detroit: Gale Research, 1991.
"Provides ... biographical and bibliographical information on more than 400 authors who are a part of twentieth-century Hispanic literature and culture in the Americas." Fully 100 of the entries represent Chicano writers, both literary and academic. Some overlap with Chicano Writers listed above.
PQ 7081 A1 H48 1991 LAC o Mexican American Reference Collection

Keller, Gary D. A Biographical Handbook of Hispanics and United States Film. Tempe, AZ: Bilingual Press, 1997.
Provides biographical and filmographic data for Latino actors, "directors, cinematographers, screenwriters ... and other film professionals" who have participated in the U.S. film industry from the earliest days to the present. Extensive bibliography and index.
PN 1995.9 H47 K46 1997 LAC o Mexican American Reference Collection

Larralde, Carlos. Mexican American Movements and Leaders. Los Alamitos, CA: Hwong Publishing Co., 1976.
Approximately twenty life stories of Mexican and Chicano activists and revolutionaries from 1848 to mid-1970s are included in this work.
E 184 M5 L277 LAC o Mexican American Reference Collection

The Latino Encyclopedia. 6 v. Edited by Richard Chabran and Rafael Chabran. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1996.
Includes many short biographical articles for Mexican Americans; indexes by subject and region of origin.
E 184 S75 L357 1996 v. 1-6 LAC o Mexican American Reference Collection

Martinez, Al. Rising Voices: Profiles in Leadership=Voces que surgen: lideres prominentes. Glendale, CA: Nestle USA, 1993.
Thirty-nine brief biographies of well-known figures (roughly half Chicano) in community service, politics, media, entertainment, the arts, and sports. One page articles in English are followed by Spanish translation. Beautiful artwork by Latinos is a bonus.
-q-E 184 S75 M3 1993 LAC o Benson Collection stacks

_____. Rising Voices: Profiles of Hispano-American Lives. New York: New American Library, 1974.
Brief life histories of fifty-two Latino "artists, educators, sportsmen, labor leaders, entertainers, government workers, scientists, clergymen, communicators, jurists." Approximately half of the entries in this early compilation are on Mexican Americans.
CT 220 M34 LAC o Mexican American Reference stacks

Martinez, Julio A. Chicano Scholars and Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Directory. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1979.
Along with biographical data, this directory includes bibliographical references to works by and about several hundred Chicano literary and academic notables. Though dated, still an important source.
E 184 M5 M385 LAC o Mexican American Reference Collection

Meier, Matt S. Mexican American Biographies: A Historical Dictionary, 1836-1987. New York: Greenwood Press, 1988.
Prominent Chicano activists, civic leaders, "scholars, writers, artists, athletes, musicians, singers, actors" and businesspeople are included in this work. Entries vary from one-half to two pages in length; references to further reading are provided.
E 184 M5 M454 1988 LAC o Mexican American Reference Collection

Meier, Matt S., and Feliciano Rivera. Dictionary of Mexican American History. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1981.
Personages prominent in Mexican American history, along with key institutions and events, are included in this historical dictionary. Useful references often follow short articles.
E 184 M5 M453 LAC o Mexican American Reference Collection

Meier, Matt S., with Conchita Franco Serri and Richard A. Garcia. Notable Latino Americans: A Biographical Dictionary. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1997.
Sixty-five of the 127 Latinos profiled are Chicano. In addition to the requisite national figures, others associated with a particular region (e.g., Elfego Baca, Casimiro Barela, Hector P. Garcia, Chelo Amezcua Gonzalez, and Lydia Mendoza) are included. Well-written articles average three pages and include references for further reading.
E 184 S75 M35 1997 LAC o Mexican American Reference Collection

The New Handbook of Texas. 6 v. Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1996.
This new and improved Handbook attempts to redress glaring omissions from earlier editions; consequently, hundreds of biographical entries on notable tejanas and tejanos have been added. An excellent resource.
F 384 N48 1996 LAC o Latin American Reference Collection

Notable Hispanic American Women. Edited by Diane Telgen and Jim Kamp. Detroit: Gale Research, 1993.
Approximately half of the nearly 300 entries are devoted to women of Mexican descent in this biographical volume on contemporary Latinas. Most articles are one to two pages in length and list bibliographic sources. Subject and occupation indexes are provided.
E 184 S75 N68 1993 LAC o Mexican American Reference Collection

Novas, Himilce. The Hispanic 100: A Ranking of the Latino Men and Women Who Have Most Influenced American Thought and Culture. Secaucus, NJ: Carol Publishing, 1995.
Nearly two-thirds of these biographical profiles are devoted to notables in the arts, show business, and sports. It is unfortunate that more educators, scientists, and writers were not listed, but compiler admits that the listing is somewhat subjective. Each article is four to five pages in length and is accompanied by a portrait. Alphabetical index, but no bibliographical references.
E 169.1 N77 1995 LACo Mexican American Reference Collection

Quien es quien: A Who's Who of Spanish Speaking Librarians in the United States, 1994. Edited by Arnulfo D. Trejo, Marta Stiefel Ayala, and Reynaldo Ayala. 4th ed. Tucson: Hispanic Books Distributors, 1994.
Lists Spanish speaking librarians and paraprofessionals; includes indexes by country of origin and ethnic/cultural background.
Z 720 A4 T73 1994 LAC o Mexican American Reference Collection

Quirarte, Jacinto. Mexican American Artists. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1973.
Profiles twenty-seven major Chicano artists from the turn of the century to the early 1970s and provides biographical background vis-a-vis their works. Heavily illustrated.
N 6538 M4 Q57 LAC o Mexican American Reference Collection

Reyes, Luis, and Peter Rubie. Hispanics in Hollywood: An Encyclopedia of Film and Television. New York: Garland, 1994.
Although most of this work is a listing of "nearly 400 films and TV shows ... with credits, short synopses, production information pertaining to Hispanic elements, and critical commentary," a substantial portion is dedicated to biographies of Latino/a actors and production personnel.
PN 1995.9 H47 R49 1994 LAC o Mexican American Reference Collection

Who's Who Among Hispanic Americans. Detroit: Gale Research, 1991-.
Brief entries for over 5,000 individuals provide personal, educational, and career information, and list professional affiliations, honors and awards.
E 184 S75 W36 LAC o Mexican American Reference Collection

Sources for Young Readers

Machamer, Gene. Hispanic American Profiles. New York: Ballantine, 1996. Geared to middle school readers, this edition is noteworthy for its section on Latino military heroes. Entries are short, approximately one page in length. Includes name index and index by occupation.
E 184 S75 M32 1996 LAC o Benson Collection stacks

Marvis, Barbara J. Contemporary American Success Stories: Famous People of Hispanic Heritage. 6 v. Childs, MD: Mitchell Lane, 1996.
Each of the six volumes in this series includes at least one detailed biography of a well-known Mexican American active in politics, science, sports or entertainment. Suitable for ages 8 to 12.
E 184 S75 M384 1996 v. 1-6 LAC-JE o Benson Collections stacks

Morey, Janet. Famous Mexican Americans. New York: Cobblehill Books, 1989.
Fourteen biographies include Willie Velasquez, Luis Nogales, Blandina Cardenas Ramirez, and Archibishop Patrick Flores. Articles are quite lengthy (10 to 15 pages) and are accompanied by photographs and selected bibliography.
E 184 M5 M67 1989 LAC-JE o Benson Collection stacks

Morey, Janet Nomura and Wendy Dunn. Famous Hispanic Americans. New York: Cobblehill Books, 1996.
Mexican Americans profiled include Jaime Escalante, Ellen Ochoa, Federico Pena, Matt Rodriguez, and Paul Rodriguez. Format is similar to that of Famous Mexican Americans listed above.
E 184 S75 M67 1996 LAC-JE o Benson Collection stacks

General Biographical Reference Sources

All of the following are located in the Perry Castaneda Library of the University of Texas at Austin campus.

BIO BASE. Detroit: Gale Research, 1978-.
This massive biographical database on microfiche is current through the late 1990s and supplies millions of citations.
MCFICHE 4633 REF o PCL Reference Department

Biography Index
CT 104 B563 o PCL Reference Index Tables

Current Biography Yearbook
CT 100 C8 o PCL Reference Department

Personal Name Index to The New York Times Index, 1975-1993 Supplement
CT 104 F3522 o PCL Reference Department

Who's Who in America
E 663 W56 o PCL Reference Department

Who's Who in the East
E 747 W59 o PCL Reference Department

Who's Who in the Midwest
E 747 W63 o PCL Reference Department

Who's Who in the South and Southwest
E 176 W645 o PCL Reference Department

Who's Who in the West
F 595 W64 o PCL Reference Department

Copyright C 1997 by The General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin. This material may be quoted or reproduced for educational purposes without prior permission, provided appropriate credit is given. Any commercial use of this material is prohibited without prior permission from The General Libraries.

Margo Gutierrez
Mexican American & Latino Studies Librarian/Bibliographer
Benson Latin American Collection, General Libraries
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas 78713-8916
(512) 495-4589 or
(512) 495-4520
fax (512) 495-4568;