Centro de Estudios y Documentación Latinoamericanos
Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation
Centro de Estudos e Documentaçaõ Latino-Americanos
Centrum voor Studie en Documentatie van Latijns Amerika

Since its creation in 1964, the Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation (CEDLA), hosted by the University of Amsterdam, has promoted Latin American Studies in the Netherlands, Europe and beyond. This is done by conducting and stimulating relevant and original research on developments in Latin America and distributing the results of this research via academic education and publications. CEDLA’s library is considered Europe’s second largest collection of material on Latin America. Since July 2015, CEDLA is part of the Faculty of the Humanities of the University of Amsterdam.

Academic Research

CEDLA research focuses on past and present processes of societal change in Latin America. In addition to conducting multi-disciplinary research it makes every effort to distribute the research results and stimulate academic debates on Latin America. This is done by writing academic publications, organising lectures, seminars and conferences, and working in conjunction with sister organisations in the Netherlands as well as abroad. Next to its team of researchers, CEDLA appoints temporary staff members for specific research projects and hosts a number of PhD students, fellows and research assistants. More information on current research can be found on the CEDLA website, www.cedla.uva.nl. CEDLA researchers are involved in multiple research networks with Latin America and other international researchers and institutions.


CEDLA also offers an English-language Master’s Programme. In the multi-disciplinary Master's Programme, students spend three months in Latin America to do research for their thesis project. The Master's Programme is part of the Latin American Studies Programme (LASP), an interuniversity graduate programme providing Master and PhD education, which is coordinated by CEDLA. CEDLA also offers Bachelor’s and Master’s courses on Latin America in the fields of anthropology, history, political science, economics, human geography, political ecology and cultural studies, which are open to students of other universities.


CEDLA publishes in association with Berghahn Books the book series CEDLA Latin America Studies (CLAS), which consists of social science monographs. The academic peer-reviewed open access journal ERLACS – European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies / Revista Europea de Estudios Latinoamericanos y del Caribe – is published twice a year, in print and online at www.erlacs.org. Social scientists from all across the globe contribute articles to ERLACS that specifically pertain to Latin America and reflect substantial empirical research and/or are theoretically innovative with respect to major debates.


The CEDLA library has an extensive and in many ways unique collection of more than 80,000 books and 500 current journals, extensive archive material on microfilm, and many reference works and bibliographies. The library provides to all visitors an attractive opportunity to view, study and copy material. The complete collection can be searched through the central catalogue of the University of Amsterdam: http://opc.uva.nl/

Our Objectives

  • to carry out social science research on Latin America in the disciplines of cultural anthropology, economics, history, political science, human geography and sociology
  • to further the effective coordination of social science research
  • to extend and increase knowledge about the societies and cultures of Latin America
  • to further scientific teaching on Latin America in the above-mentioned disciplines
  • to collect books, journals and other source materials relevant to the study and documentation of Latin American themes within the social science.

An important task of CEDLA is to carry out social science research on Latin America. Six disciplines, cultural anthropology, economics, history, political science, human geography and sociology make up the research programme. Each major discipline is represented by at least one member of the CEDLA academic staff.

Other Activities: CERES, NALACS

There is considerable and continuous contact at the research level with foreign universities and research institutes specializing in Latin America. Within the Netherlands, CEDLA is associated with the national research school CERES (Research School for Resource Studies for Development, Utrecht University).

At the national level, CEDLA acts as secretariat for the Netherlands Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies / Werkgemeenschap Latijns Amerika en het Caraïbisch Gebied - NALACS. It has as its objective the promotion of research on Latin America and the Caribbean in the social sciences and the humanities within an interdisciplinary framework. From 1985 to 1988 CEDLA acted as the secretariat for the 46th International Congress of Americanists held in 1988 in Amsterdam.