Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Spanish Resources and Declassified Documents

Today I taught a Spanish 3381 class, which was a welcome opportunity to practice my Spanish-speaking skills.  The instructor asked that I show students how to find resources that will help them with their assignment.  Students need to write a paper and give an oral presentation on a Latin American country, focusing on a specific current event (last 50 years more or less).  Additionally, students are encouraged to search out declassified documents to see, as much as possible, the United States involvement in some of these events.  Of course, they are also asked to look for sources in Spanish that will help them understand their topic, such as the Dirty War in Argentina, Pinochet's government in Chile, the overthrow of Arbenz's government in Guatemala, or Madero's in Mexico.

Fortunately, one of my colleagues had taught this class five years ago and had a handout with a list of resources to get me started.  Database subscriptions change over time at academic institutions, and ours is not exception.  The part that worried me the most was finding declassified government documents.  In a casual encounter with the instructor last week, she indicated that Georgetown University had made resources available for researchers to find declassified documents.  When I looked at their site, I found that they do have databases for searching these documents; however, they required a login and password.  Again, a colleague of mine who is the government documents librarians really helped quite a bit in pointing me in the right direction.  Her efforts helped me improve upon the resources my first colleague shared with me, and the results can be found on this Declassified Documents page.

To see all my resources for this class, go to the Spanish 3381 site I created.  Here is the Tiny URL for the site: http://tinyurl.com/4sh9ywd.

Si quieres encontrar documentos desclasificados, utilice al siguiente sitio: Declassified Documents.  Claro, la mayoria de los documentos que se encuentran en los sitios del gobierno de los Estados Unidos de America son en ingles.  Si necesitas una traduccion de la pagina <<Declassified Documents>> dimelo.  Tratare' de ayudarte.

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