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Anthropology Research Sources  

An overview of the databases, online catalogs , topical research collections and websites that cover one or more of the subdisciplines of anthropology
Last Updated: Apr 1, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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 The Chinese in California, 1850-1925 - This beautifully built page illustrates nineteenth and early twentieth century Chinese immigration to California via some 8,000 images of photographs, letters, original art, cartoons, legal documents, business records and diaries. As the oldest and largest community of its kind in the United States, San Francisco's Chinatown receives special treatment. Based on materials from the libraries of the University of California- Berkeley and the California Historical Society.





Full Text Periodicals


Essential Databases

  • Abstracts in Anthropology - - The database covers a broad spectrum of significant, current anthropological topics from a vast number of periodicals. Several thousand abstracts, selected and classified, fully indexed by author and subject, provide a thorough coverage of anthropological scholarship in all its subfields: * Cultural Anthropology * Physical Anthropology * Archaeology * and Linguistics
  • Anthropological Index Online - Published by the Royal Anthropological Institute and maintained by the Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing. Photocopies of most indexed articles are available for research or private study from the mailing address of the Museum of Mankind. The homepage gives details of coverage, which currently includes full indexing for 1957 to 2004 and provides links to CSAC, RAI, and the search page itself.
  • Anthropology Plus - This database brings together into one resource the highly respected Anthropological Literature from Harvard University and Anthropological Index, Royal Anthropological Institute from the UK. Anthropology Plus provides extensive worldwide indexing of journal articles, reports, commentaries, edited works, and obituaries in the fields of social, cultural, physical, biological, and linguistic anthropology, ethnology, archaeology, folklore, material culture, and interdisciplinary studies. The index offers excellent coverage of all core periodicals in the field in addition to local and lesser-known journals. Coverage is from the late 19th century to the present.
  • AnthroSource - - The premier online resource serving the research, teaching, and professional needs of anthropologists. Developed by the American Anthropological Association (AAA), AnthroSource
  • Ebrary Academic Complete - - This electronic book package includes more than 50,000 individual texts covering a broad array of academic disciplines. The database boasts a distinguished set of publishers including such university presses as Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Harvard, etc. The content of the database is well paired with an advanced set of tools that allows for expansive searching capabilities, and manipulation and storage of text.
  • Ethnographic Videos Online Provides the largest, most comprehensive resource for the study of human culture and behavior  more than 750 hours and 1,000 films at completion. The collection covers every region of the world and features the work of many of the most influential documentary filmmakers of the 20th century, including interviews, previously unreleased raw footage, field notes, study guides, and more.
  • Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (LLBA) - - Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts (LLBA) assists both generalists and specialists in keeping abreast of cutting-edge developments in disciplines concerned with the nature and use of language. The database covers all aspects of the study of language including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. Complete coverage is also given to various fields of linguistics including descriptive, historical, comparative, theoretical and geographical linguistics.
  • Reference Universe--contains 35 million data elements to over 45,000 specialized reference works. The elements are matched to NIU's electronic and print holdings, offering a customized view of local reference material.

    Web of Knowledge Combines the acclaimed Science and Social Sciences Citation Indexes (1987 to the present) with additional databases including BIOSIS Previews (1969 to the present), Current Contents (1998 to the present), and Medline (1950 to the present). The database offers a powerful and versatile research platform as well as search and analysis tools that enhance its scholarly value.  


  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 place.

John Wesley Powell Library of Anthropology ( Smithsonian Institution )

Library and Archives Canada

Library of Congress   

Tozzer Library ( Harvard )




Research Collections


Specific Cultural Groups and Regions


Archaeological Sites

       Pompeii In Pictures- An interactive map of the city of Pompeii covering all major architectural features and aspects of the urban plan.





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.
  • Archaeological Institute of America
  • Association for Environmental Archaeology
  • 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.
  • National Park Service Archeology and Ethnography Program
  • 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 Index from 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


  • Bishop Museum of Ethnology Database - Based in Honolulu, this resource covers 70,000 objects from across the Pacific Ocean region.
  • Canadian Museum of Civilization: Collections Storage
  • Illinois State Museum - Students in anthropology will find the "collections" section and the link to the Dickson Mounds Museum most useful.
  • Kelsey Museum of Archaeology
  • Musée Achéménide
  • National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution
  • Oriental Institute (University of Chicago) - Founded by James Henry Breasted (the first American to receive a doctorate in Egyptology) in 1919, the institute has long been recognized as the center for research on the ancient Near East. Of particular value is the Center for Ancient Middle Eastern Landscapes ( CAMEL) digitial collection of archaeological maps.. The full text of the Institute's annual reports beginning with 1994 is currently available.
  • Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology
  • The Museum of Underwater Archaeology - a completely online project devoted to publicizing current work in underwater archaeology.
  • University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology - Anthropologists will find the detailed listings of current exhibits, projects in Africa, Asia, Egypt, Mesoamerica, North America, the Middle/Near East, and Mediterranean, and a review of current research projects most useful at this massive illustrated site.


  • Archaeological Resource Guide for Europe - A collection of 1,100 hypertext links from 38 countries dealing with current archaeological communication and information resources across Europe.
  • Archaeology At Cahokia - A subsection of the homepage for the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, this link provides a partial bibliography of published materials on the major urban centre.
  • ARCHNET: WWW Virtual Library of Archaeology - The best single site on the web for archaeology, created on July 1, 1995 at the University of Connecticut. Topics covered are subject areas (such as archaeometry, ceramics, lithics, and preservation), museums, academic departments, regional archaeology, and a "featured site" each month. Uncataloged Internet sites are also listed.
  • Bibliography of Albert L. Kroeber
  • British and Irish Archaeological Bibliography - Maintained by Britain's Archaeological Data service, this resource covers all materials on this topic published before 1992 in a 100,000 item database beginning in 1695 AD. Post-1967 references may include abstracts.
  • HyperGeertz
  • Isaac Schapera: A Bibliography
  • The "Looting Question" Bibliography: Web and Literary Resources on the Archaeological Politics of Private Collecting, Commercial Treasure Hunting, Looting, and "Professional" Archaeology - Web and library resources on the archaeological politics of private collecting, commercial treasure hunting, looting, and "professional" archaeology.

    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.
    • AIGYPTOS: A Database of Egyptological Literature
    • 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.
    • Archaeology Image Bank ( University of York )
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • The Human Languages Page - Two thousand seven hundred (1,700) web-based resources related to language and literature - the linguistics section is most applicable to anthropology.
    • UCSC Genome Bioinformatics

    Subject Specialist

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