Celebrate Hispanic American Culture with the Library of Congress

From September 15 to October 15 every year, the Library of Congress and partner institutions observe National Hispanic Heritage Month by recognizing and paying tribute to the history and contributions of Americans who trace their roots to Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

This year Teaching with the Library of Congress highlights examples of the rich cultural traditions of Hispanic Americans and their ancestors from long ago. Have your primary source analysis tools ready to guide you and your students in exploring, enjoying, and celebrating some of these wonderful images from the collections of the Library of Congress and the World Digital Library.

Mural on building on Guadalupe Street [Detail], 2005

Mural on building on Guadalupe Street [Detail], 2005

  • Dive into the amazing mural above, photographed in 2005 in San Antonio.
  • Read about and respond to an image of bultos at the famous Spanish market in 1998 Santa Fe.
  • See a photo of women making tortillas in a bake shop, San Antonio, Texas in 1949. Yum!
  • Explore a slideshow showing traditional dancing and costume at a 1940 fiesta in Taos, New Mexico.
  • Then step back a few centuries and examine images from the Florentine Codex, Book X, 1577 – an encyclopedic work about the people and culture of central Mexico. You’ll see colorful illustrations of people weaving, sewing, eating, building, gardening or farming, making pottery and more.
  • Ask students to consider what they can learn about culture by looking at primary sources across the centuries.
Florentine Codex, Book X, 1577

Florentine Codex, Book X, 1577

Florentine Codex, Book X, 1577 [Detail]

Florentine Codex, Book X, 1577 [detail]

Florentine Codex, Book X, 1577
Florentine Codex, Book X, 1577

Find more ideas for celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in your classroom from our 2013 and 2011 blog posts. You can also check out the Library’s new Hispanic Heritage Month Pinterest board for more primary sources and historical materials.

Let us know how you incorporate Hispanic culture into your classroom – this month and all year round.

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