The Library of Congress > American Memory
banner image
return to home page table of contents about the guide abbreviations search banner image

Area Studies Collections



American Jewish Women
Using the Collections
Selected Collections


arrow graphicFilm Materials



Journals and Newsletters



Folk Songs and Folklife


Genealogical Research




Film Materials

Images of Latinas in films can be seen in the Motion Picture and Television Reading Room. Eighteen viewable films of Dolores Del Río (1905-1983), from What Price Glory (1926; FDA 7809-7811) to More Than a Miracle (1967; FGC 398-403), are found in the Library's collections, including works that were produced and filmed in Mexico, Spain, and Argentina. The collections also contain more than twenty films of Lupe Vélez (1908-1944), “the Mexican Spitfire,” filmed in the United States, ranging from Wolf Song (1929; FBA 9216-9219) to Mexican Spitfire at Sea (1942; FDB 0545-0546). Researchers who wish to consult Mexican researcher Angel Miquel's unpublished finding aid in Spanish to silent movies and other films starring Latinas in the Library's collections should ask the reference staff in the Motion Picture and Television Reading Room or in the Hispanic Division Reading Room.

Films made by Latinos themselves include those films scholars might expect to find, such as Selena (1997, CGC6715-6721), the biographical motion picture of the Tejana singing sensation Selena Pérez, who had a massive following in the Spanish-language community before her untimely death. The much rarer film A Tribute to Selena (1995, VAE 7536), produced by Robert Rodríguez Rodd, is also in the collections. Several episodes of the mainstream television program Wonder Woman, starring Lynda Carter (Lynda Jean Cordoba Carter) (FDA 4887-4889), and Public Television's A Mexican-American Family (FBB 1779) represent television programming that casts more light on this subject.

The Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division also contains rare scrapbooks maintained by Dorothy Blum of popular actresses in the 1930s and 1940s. One example from the Dorothy Blum Scrapbook Collection is a tribute to Dolores Del Río and contains clippings showing how her studio publicist attempted to present the Mexican-born actress. According to one article, she had become so American that she could no longer eat Mexican food. Blum also kept a scrapbook with articles and pictures relating to Lupe Vélez's career. When Vélez appeared in the film Wolf Song with Gary Cooper, the publicity featured questions about their real-life romance. Later a feature article talked about her trading kisses for cash and preferring older men. Although typical of the fodder prepared by studio publicists, such publicity served to reinforce stereotypes.

The MBRS vertical files contain some additional material about such stars. In the AFI-Des Moines Still Collection, the researcher can find photographs of Rita Hayworth (Margarita Carmen Cansino) dancing in Des Moines, Iowa, in December 1940 or selling war bonds in 1944.


Keller, Gary D. Hispanics and United States Film: An Overview and Handbook. Tempe, Arizona: Bilingual Review/Press, 1994. PN1995.9.L37 K46 1994.

Noriega, Chon A., ed. Chicanos and Film: Representation and Resistance. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1992. PN1995.9.M49 C49 1992 GenColl.

Reyes, Luis, and Peter Rubie. Hispanics in Hollywood: 100 Years in Film and Television. Hollywood, Calif.: Lone Eagle Press, 2000. PN1995.9.H47 R49 2000 GenColl.

Rodriguez, Clara E., ed. Latin Looks: Images of Latinas and Latinos in the U.S. Media. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1997. P94.5.H582 U65 1997 GenColl.

SAMPLE LCSH: Hispanic Americans in motion pictures; Hispanic Americans on television; Hispanic American actors.

red line
Home Table of Contents About the Guide Abbreviations Search
The Library of Congress> > American Memory