All Souls' Day     [Text only version for printing]     [back to the graphical version]
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

Web Site Links    

All Souls’ Day & All Saints’ Day    

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 Dia de los Muertos   

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 Dia de los Muertos.

Traditions of Mexico : El Dia de los Muertos
Developed by the Houston Institute for Culture, Traditions of Mexico: El Dia 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 Dia de los Muertos.

ThinkQuest Library : Dia de los Muertos Links
An annotated bibliography of links relating to El Dia 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 : Dia de los Muertos
Available in Spanish or English, this Web page offers a brief history of El Dia de los Muertos. Created by the National Park Service, the site features a slideshow and information about las catrinas, a popular El Dia de los Muertos image created by Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada.

Online Databases (Rio Hondo Students only)    
Rio Hondo College databases.

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 Dia 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.

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

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).

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

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