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All Souls' Day
The following guide provides Web site links, a list of selected books, and access to online periodical articles about this subject. The Web site links have been researched, evaluated, and annotated by Rio Hondo College Librarians. The Librarians have specifically selected these Web sites to meet the research needs of Rio Hondo College students

go to   Web Site Links        Online Databases (RHC Students only)        Books        Library Catalog        Media        Articles       

Text-only version for printing     

Web Site Links     top

go to   All Souls' Day & All Saints' Day        El Día De Los Muertos

All Souls’ Day & All Saints’ Day     top

American Folklife Center : the Fantasy and Folklore of All Hallows

Authored by Jack Santino, Professor of Popular Culture, for the University of Pennsylvania, this Library of Congress Web page describes the origins of All Souls’ Day and Halloween.

Catholic Education Resource Center : All Saints' and All Souls'

In this reprinted article from the Arlington Catholic Herald, the Dean of the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College, Father William Saunders, details the origination of the All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day, and Halloween holidays. As Saunders is the pastor of Our Lady of Hope Parish in Sterling, Virginia, he succinctly presents these histories from the Catholic point of view.

The Cabildo : Antebellum Louisiana -- Disease, Death, and Mourning

As All Souls’ and All Saints’ Day are holy days in the Catholic religion, the celebration of these holidays in the heavily Catholic state of Louisiana could be considered relevant to research of these traditions. This site, presented by the Cabildo, a Louisiana State Museum, provides information about mourning in the antebellum era, images of related holdings, historical photographs, and a nineteenth century advertisement.

Zenit : Reflection on All Souls' Day and All Saints' Day

Based in New York, reports the activities, writings, and lectures of the Bishop of Rome, or pope, in Vatican City. This particular piece is of interest to the researcher, as it can be considered as a primary resource. The Zenit site provides a translation of an address by Pope Benedict XVI in which he speaks of the tradition and spirit that embody All Saints’ Day. To the thousands listening in St. Peter’s Square, the pope says, “Dear friends, may the traditional visit of these days to the tombs of our dead be an opportunity to think without fear about the mystery of death.”

El Día de los Muertos     top

Smithsonian Latino Center's Theater of the Dead

Click and drag colorful papel de picado (punched paper), calavera (skulls and skeletons), marigolds, photos, toys, and foodstuffs to build an online altar. This Smithsonian National Museum of American History site provides PDF lesson plans, and information about the ofrenda, symbolism, spirits, and customs and beliefs relating to El Día de los Muertos.

Traditions of Mexico : El Día de los Muertos

Developed by the Houston Institute for Culture, Traditions of Mexico: El Día de los Muertos y Mas, addresses traditions such as sugar skulls, altars, and pan de muertos. This resource also indexes interviews that delve into the stories of Spanish-speaking persons recollecting and describing the traditions of El Día de los Muertos.

ThinkQuest Library : Día de los Muertos Links

An annotated bibliography of links relating to El Día de los Muertos. This list includes resources such as the Mexico Connect (a monthly e-zine) and Arizona Central (a daily newspaper).

U.S. Department of the Interior : Día de los Muertos

Available in Spanish or English, this Web page offers a brief history of El Día de los Muertos. Created by the National Park Service, the site features a slideshow and information about las catrinas, a popular El Día de los Muertos image created by Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada.

Online Databases (Rio Hondo Students only)     top

Encyclopædia Britannica
Use Encyclopædia Britannica to search an Internet directory that includes more than 130,000 links to Web sites selected, rated, and reviewed by Britannica editors.    

Gale Biography In Context
Use the Gale Biography In Context database to find information about Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada.  Posada's skeleton images, such as Calavera de la Catrina are popularly associated with El Día do los Muertos.

Gale Virtual Reference Library
Contains the full text to Gale Reference print volumes.  Type "All Souls Day" in Basic Search to retrieve citations and links to articles regarding this search term.

An extensive periodicals and newspaper database covering social issues, business, science, current events and more.  In Advanced Search, use "All Souls Day" and "Holiday" as search terms.

Books     top
The following books can be located in the Rio Hondo College Library.

Reference Books

Holiday symbols and customs
Call number: Ref GT3930.T48 2003

The Mexican day of the dead : an anthology
Call number: Ref GT4995.A4M49 1994

The skeleton at the feast : the Day of the Dead in Mexico
Call number : Ref GT4995.A4C37 1992

Suggested Subject Headings
For additional titles on this topic at Rio Hondo, click on the following Library of Congress subject headings:

All Souls' Day

Mexico--Religious life and customs

Library Catalog     top
Use the box below to search for additional resources in Rio Hondo College Library.

Search Library Catalog for: 

Media     top
The following media can be located in the Rio Hondo College Library, to be viewed in the Library.

Food for the ancestors
Call number: Video 000552
Explores the Mexican celebration of Day of the Dead and teaches the significance of 500-year-old traditions in the state of Puebla. We learn of the Cholula ruins, see fields of "the flower of 400 petals," and learn of medicinal herbs in a bustling marketplace. Focuses on folk arts related to the celebration, such as weaving, pottery, dance, and preparation of special foods including Sugar Skull candies, pulque, Bread of the Dead, and Mole Poblano.

Lo mejor del folklore mexicano : 100 años de música [compact disc]
Call number: Q MEXI MFM B-12

La Ofrenda : the Days of the Dead
Call number: Video 000988
Presents a non-traditional look at the ceremonies and rituals observed in the Mexican culture, in both Mexico and the U.S., to celebrate the Days of the Dead (Nov. 1 & 2).

Articles   top
The Rio Hondo College Library provides online access to full-text articles through our online databasesPlease note:  you must be a Rio Hondo College student, faculty, staff or board member to use these services.

The sample searches and articles below are from the ProQuest database.  If you are viewing this subject guide from an on-campus computer, simply click on the links below.   To gain access if you are at home or off-campus, first click here:  Input your student number [SSN] and password [your birthdate].  You will see a list of all the online databases to which you have access.  Click on ProQuest and enter the database.  You may conduct your own searches at this point or come back to this subject guide and click on any of the links below:

Researched and evaluated by:
M. Delatte, Librarian 5/2009
last update: M. Delatte, Librarian 5/2010 



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