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Anthropology Research Sources: Home

An overview of the databases, online catalogs , topical research collections and websites that cover one or more of the subdisciplines of anthropology

Featured Links

 A Song For the Horse Nation: Horses in Native American Culture

After Columbus: Four Hundred Years of Native American Portraiture -- In 1994, the New York Public Library mounted an exhibition of prints and drawings done by non-Native Americans from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries

Listening To Our Ancestors: The Art of Native Life Along the North Pacific Coast

S'abadeb- The Gifts: Pacific Coast Salish Art and Artists -Created to accompany a major exhibition of Salish art from British Columbia and Washington State mounted at the Seattle Art Museum in 2008 and 2009, this page offers 175 repreentative pieces  from traditional basketry to comtemporary artworks.

Full Text Periodicals

Essential Databases

General Web Resources

Online Catalogs

Among the major online catalogs with substantial holdings in anthropology are:

Biblioteca Nacional de Mexico

The European Library - This link provides access to the homepages of 46 European national librariess, with coverage reaching from Russia and the Ukraine to Ireland and Iceland. Users not fluent in the national language of a particular site should look for a small icon of the British or United States flag- this indicates that an English-language version of the page is available. Beginning users in anthropology will find the British Library a good starting palce.

Library and Archives Canada

Library of Congress   

Research Collections

Specific Cultural Groups and Regions

Archaeological Sites

Professional Organizations

  • American Anthropological Association - The homepage of the most prominent professional organization for anthropologists in the world.
  • American Association of Museums
  • American Society of Primatologists - An educational organization dedicated to the gathering and exchanging of information about the primate species. Interests range from ecology and behavior to captive management, conservation and virology.
  • Association for Environmental Archaeology
  • Canadian Archaeological Association - Useful as a general overview of activity in this discipline in Canada. An index to the publication series of the Association, beginning in 1969, is included.
  • Canadian Association for Physical Anthropology - Researchers will find the two sections of this page; "Physical Anthropology in Canada" and "Net Resources to Physical Anthropology" of interest.
  • Council for British Archaeology - The homepage of the Council for British Archaeology, whose mission is to inform the public "of issues and events" within its field. Links to the full-text of British Archaeology (with a two month time lag for each issue) and CBA Briefing and a list of current Council projects are provided.
  • Cultural Survival - A non-profit organization founded in 1972 to defend the human rights and cultural autonomy of indigenous peoples and oppressed ethnic minorities. A new online journal Active Voices may be reached from this page.
  • National Association of State Archaeologists - This site covers laws, procedures, educational programs, current research, and a directory of professionals for the U.S., Puerto Rico, America Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.
  • Royal Anthropological Institute of GreatBritain and Ireland - The oldest anthropological organization in the world, founded in 1843. Notable features include content pages to the Institute's Journal and access to Anthropological Indexfrom the late 1960s to date.
  • Society for American Archaeology - An intercultural organization funded in 1934 and dedicated to the protection, interpretation, and research of the archaeological heritage of the Americas. The full-text of the Principles of Archaeological Ethics is available here.
  • Society for Applied Anthropology - Founded in 1941 "to promote the investigation of the principles of human behavior and the application of these principles to contemporary issues and problems." News from the field and reports from the American Indian issues committee are among the features of this page.
  • Society for Archaeological Sciences - A forum for communication among scholars applying methods from the physical sciences to archaeology and the assessment by the archaeological community of the problems and potential offered by its approach. A special feature is the links to sites on archaeometry.
  • Society for California Archaeology - An excellent example of the type of site mounted by archaeological societies
  • Society for Economic Anthropology - This organization takes as its field of study "understanding diversity and change in the economic system of the world." Extracts from the society newsletters are included.
  • Society for Historical Archaeology - Formed in 1967, the Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) is the largest scholarly group concerned with the archaeology of the modern world (A.D. 1400-present). The main focus of the society is the era since the beginning of European exploration. Geographically, the society emphasizes the New World, but also includes European exploration and settlement in Africa, Asia, and Oceania.
  • Society for the Anthropology of Religion



Specialized Databases

  • ABZU: Guide To Resources For The Study Of the Ancient Near East Available on the Internet - Sponsored by the Research Archives of the Oriental Institute of Chicago since 1994, this site provides access to the increasing amount of data on the web dealing with the ancient cultures of Egypt, Mesopotamia and other lands of the region. Useful features are listings of relevant journals which have electronic editions (some full text), online library catalogs, museum collections, and an index by archaeological site name.
  • Archaeological Data Service Digital Library - Based in Great Britain, this set of 350,000 records from 15 countries, providing detailed maps showing the relative archaeological activity and records for specific regions. Searches available by place and site name. Datasets accessible cover dating, artifact collections, and texts. Digital Archives from excavation and fieldwork - the full text of a British publication on "the best way to create and document digital materials produced in the course of fieldwork and to preserve it. . .for future use." Very useful as a practical guide for field archaeology.
  • Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C, from the Mediterranean to the Indus - This colorful site was created as a supplement to the exhibit of the same name presented at the Metropolitan Museum in 2003. Some two dozen examples of Third Millennium B.C. art from an area stretching from the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean across Iran and Central Asia to the Indus Valley are presented, some in more than one section. The artifacts are arranged by eight themes ranging from masterpieces such as the famous Standard of Ur, through cities, their rulers and the gods to writing systems, seals and styles of clothing and personal dress.
  • Bibliography of Dendrochronology
  • Coombspapers Social Sciences Research Data Bank - "An extensive archive of research focused on the study of cultural anthropology and the social sciences."
  • Darwin Correspondence Project
  • Digital Archives from Excavation and Fieldwork: Guide to Good Practice
  • Ethnologue: Languages of the World - Ethnologue is a catalog of more than 6,700 languages spoken in 228 countries. This database is produced by the Summer Institute of Linguistics, an organization that conducts research on both written and unwritten languages and whose goal is to promote cross-cultural communication and develop usable literature in the form of dictionaries, grammars, and Bible translations.
  • Ethnomathematics Digital Library
  • GenBank - Sequence data on the human and other genomes.
  • I Love Languages - More than 2400 web-based resources related to language and literature - the linguistics section is most applicable to anthropology.
  • Linkages Projects - "An effort to assemble a large database of kinship data sets and genealogies from around the world as recorded by anthropologists."
  • National Anthropological Archives & Human Studies Film Archives - Housed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., the NAA site lists anthropological correspondence, papers, photos, film, works of art, and artifacts available, for study by appointment at the Smithsonian Institution.
  • National Archaeological Database, (National Park Service) - Born out of a congressional directory "to improve access to archaeological activities nationwide." This site contains 240,000 reports on archaeological planning and investigation, mostly of limited circulation. The full-text of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act is available here as well.
  • Primate Info Net - Housed at the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center in Madison, this site offers links to homepages of primate study centers, wildlife sanctuaries, and scientific societies involved with primatology.
  • UCSC Genome Bioinformatics

Subject Guide

Robert Ridinger
268A Founders Memorial Library, Northern Illinois University, De Kalb, IL 6015-2868.