Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies

Resources and facilities

Libraries, collections, cultural and social spaces, on campus and in the city.

On campus

When you are on campus, you can expect to spend most of your time in the University of Edinburgh's Central Area - in class (if taking a taught course), in the library, or in one of the University’s many social and support spaces.

The Central Area is located on the edge of Edinburgh's historic Old Town, surrounded by lots of green space.

Take a virtual tour of the Central Area

Libraries, collections and centres

Libraries and collections

The Main University Library holds academic books, journals and databases, including around 27,000 books and 5,000 journals in Spanish and 5,000 books and 2,680 journals in Portuguese.

The Library is also the home of the University's Centre for Research Collections which brings together:

  • more than 400,000 rare books
  • six kilometres of archives and manuscripts
  • thousands of works of art, historical musical instruments and other objects

Spanish and Latin American treasures in these collections include:  

  • a 1629 edition of Cervantes  
  • early translations of The Lusiads  
  • paintings by Murillo and Picasso  
  • Jan Fairley’s rich collection of Latin American music recordings and interviews  

Many of the University's Special Collections are digitised and available online from our excellent Resource Centre, computing labs and dedicated study spaces in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC).

Browse the University's holdings in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies

Centres for research, teaching and outreach

Our in-house Portuguese Language Centre is one of only four in the UK sponsored by the Instituto Camões.

We also play a key role in the Centre for Contemporary Latin American Studies at the University. It brings together staff and students from a number of different subject areas at Edinburgh, including:

  • languages
  • geography
  • politics
  • history
  • social anthropology

Events and activities

Get creative and make friends

From acting to dancing, making friends in language cafes to campaigning on global issues, student-led groups offer lots of ways to explore your subjects socially.

The Spanish Society, for example, is one of around 300 societies and clubs supported by Edinburgh University Students' Association. The Association also promotes opportunities with local charities through its volunteering centre.

Find a Student Society or Peer Support Group on the Edinburgh University Students' Association website

Love to write? Our online creative writing magazine Babble is the place to publish your:

  • prose
  • poetry
  • drama
  • non-fiction

We publish work written in Spanish, Portuguese and seven other European languages.

Babble is published twice a year, and you can get involved in the editorial committee.

Launch nights typically include readings and performances.

Find out more about Babble and read the latest issue

Engage with research

As part of our community, you will have lots of opportunities to share ideas with researchers, both inside and outside the classroom.

Activities range from a regular seminar series in European Languages and Cultures (with talks by staff, research students and visiting speakers), to film screenings and workshops, including those organised by the Centre for Contemporary Latin American Studies. 

Recent speakers at our annual Cunninghame-Graham Lecture include Laura Restrepo, Lucía Asué Mbomío Rubio, David Trueba and Carlos Zanón.

We also have a weekly informal Spanish-language reading group, ‘Poema de la semana’.

Explore what's on in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies

In the city

Edinburgh is a world-leading festival city filled with cinemas, theatres, galleries, museums, and collections.

The city's resources for studying literatures, languages and cultures are exceptional.

Many of them are located close to the University's Central Area, making them very easy to access when you are on campus.

The National Library of Scotland is less than one km from our School, for example. It has an outstanding collection of early modern Spanish material.

Spain has a consulate in Edinburgh (Portugal an honorary consulate), and there are large communities of Spanish and Portuguese speakers.

The city's world cinema scene is particularly strong, and we are proud to contribute to its success through collaborations with festivals such as Africa in Motion and IberoDocs.

The annual Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival was started and developed by our very own colleagues, and offers students the chance to get involved in events planning and delivery and to use their languages outside the classroom.

Discover more about the city's cultural resources