Skip to main content

Anthropology: Encyclopedia & Dictionaries

This guide covers the fields of social and cultural anthropology in addition to archaeology

About this page

This page lists selected reference resources in Anthropology. 


James Birx, ed. Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2006. 5 vol.
A general introduction for students to all four subfields of anthropology. Also includes relevant multidisciplinary topics. Full-color volumes in a large, encyclopedia format. Signed entries with brief bibliographies.

Alan Barnard and Jonathan Spencer, eds.. Routledge encyclopedia of social and cultural anthropologyLondon, England : Routledge; 2010

Tim Ingold. Companion Encyclopedia of Anthropology. New York: Routledge, 1994.
Handbook format, offers scholarly articles on contemporary thinking in biological, cultural and social anthropology. Each essay has a detailed bibliography and suggestions for further reading.


Sociocultural Anthropology

Barfield, Thomas, ed. The Dictionary of Anthropology. Oxford/Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1997.
Bobst REF1 GN307 .D485 1997
Signed entries, some extensive, on terminology in sociocultural anthropology, with a few entries on archaeology and physical anthropology. Most entries include bibliographic notes and cross references where appropriate.

Barnard, Alan and Spencer, Jonathan. Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology. New York: Routledge, 1996.
Bobst REF1 GN307 .E527 1996
Pithy entries on concepts, places, and figures, with plenty of references and suggestions for further reading. Includes an appendix with short biographical entries and a glossary of terms. Especially good for contemporary theory.

Bolaffi, Guido, et. al, eds. Dictionary of Race, Ethnicity and Culture. London/Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2003.
Bobst REF1 GN495.6 .D53 2003 Non-circulating
Concise entries covering contemporary concepts in the multidisciplinary study of race, ethnicity, and culture. Essays are signed and include references.

Cashmore, Ellis. Dictionary of Race and Ethnic Relations. 4th ed. London/New York: Routledge, 1996.
Bobst GN496 .C37 1996 Non-circulating
Lengthy, signed essays with references on key concepts, and overviews by country and by ethnic/racial groups.

Levinson, David, and Ember, Melvin, eds. Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1996. 4 vol.
Bobst REF1 GN307.E52 1996
Lengthy essays with references on key concepts, concerns, and figures. Includes survey articles on heavily studied cultural regions and subfields in cultural anthropology, and a useful appendix of anthropological periodicals.

Levinson, David. Encyclopedia of World Cultures. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1991-1996. 10 vol.
Bobst REF1 GN550 .E53 1991
Available electronically along with a 2002 supplement in the Gale Virtual Reference Library (
Individual volumes cover North America, Oceania, South Asia, Europe, South America, Africa and the Middle East, Middle America and the Caribbean, and Russia/Eurasia/China. Summary information on an ethnic or cultural group, with bibliographic references. Useful filmography at the end of each volume.

Minority Rights Group, ed. World Directory of Minorities. London: Minority Rights Group International, 1997.
Bobst REF1 GN495.4 .W67 1997
Country-by-country demographic, cultural, and political information on ethnic minorities. Many entries include bibliographies and a list of minority organizations.

  • kutsch, Carl, ed. Encyclopedia of the World's Minorities. New York: Routledge, 2005. 3 vol.
    Bobst GN495.4 .E63 2005
    Signed entries cover nations, groups, topics, and biographies of individuals. Includes references.
  • Linguistic Anthroplogy

    Brown, Keith, ed. Encyclopedia of Language & Linguistics. Amsterdam/Boston: Elsevier, 2006. 14 vol.
    Bobst REF1 P29 .E48 2006 Non-circulating
    International coverage, intended for the student and professional. Signed encyclopedia entries with references. Biographies and glossary also included.

    Crystal, David. A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2003.
    Bobst REF1 P29 .C65 2003 Non-circulating
    This comprehensive dictionary provides an introduction to linguistic terminology. Includes phonetic alphabet chart.

    Frawley, William J., ed. International Encyclopedia of Linguistics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. 2nd ed. 4 vol.
    Bobst REF1 P29 .I58 2003 Non-circulating
    Available electronically from Oxford Reference Online (
    Encompasses the full range of topics in linguistics, including many subfields. Special attention is given to relations of linguistics with other disciplines. Signed, illustrated entries with bibliographies.

    Matthews, P. H. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
    Bobst REF1 P29 .M34 1997 Non-circulating
    Available electronically along with a 2003 supplement from Oxford Reference Online (
    Succint entries covering the whole field of linguistics. Intended for the student or professional.

    Strazny, Philip, ed. Encyclopedia of Linguistics New York: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2005. 2 vol.
    Bobst REF1 P29 .E483 2005 Non-circulating
    Provides a general introduction to linguistic topics. Large-format volumes contain signed entries with references. Entries are indexed at the front of the book both alphabetically and thematically


    Barker, Graeme, ed. Companion Encyclopedia of Archaeology London/New York: Routledge, 1999. 2 vol.
    Bobst CC70 .C59 1999 Non-circulating
    Signed, article-length, scholarly entries each with references and a bibliography. Organized in three sections: Origins, Aims & Methods; Theories & Approaches; Writing Archaeological History.

    Darvill, Timothy. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
    Bobst REF1 CC70 .D37 2002 Non-circulating
    Available electronically from Oxford Reference Online (
    Covers the vocabulary for archaeological work, including theories, techniques, materials, and sites. Focuses especially on Europe, the Old World, and the Americas, and covers legislation relating to the United Kingdom and the USA.

    Ellis, Linda, ed. Archaeological Method and Theory: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland Publishing, 2000.
    Bobst REF1 CC75 .A654 2000
    Focuses on archaeological research methods and interpretation, from site formation through the publication of results. Also reviews disciplinary specializations and includes brief biographical information on prominent archaeologists. Signed entries with references.

    Fagan, Brian M., ed. The Oxford Companion to Archaeology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
    Bobst REF1 CC70 .O96 1996 Non-circulating
    Comprehensive coverage of archaeology worldwide, from prehistory to the present. Signed entries with references, as well as maps and timelines in the appendix.

    Kipfer, Barbara Ann, ed. Encyclopedic Dictionary of Archaeology New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum, 2000.
    Bobst REF1 CC70 .K56 2000 Non-circulating
    Written for professionals and students of all levels. Covers terminology, concepts, and techniques beginning with the first hominids through historical archaeology. Also includes a supplemental list of archaeological sites and terms.

    Shaw, Ian and Ember, Melvin, ed. A dictionary of archaeology Oxford, UK/Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1999.
    Bobst REF1 CC70 .D53 1999
    Brief, signed entries with references. Worldwide coverage of topics, with the exception of classical and historical archaeology.

    Physical Anthropology

    Barrows, Edward M. Animal Behavior Desk Reference; A Dictionary of Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Evolution. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2001.
    Bobst REF1 QL750.3 .B37 2001
    Written for students and professionals, this dictionary provides a review of concise biological terminology. Includes references and an appendix with a hierarchical taxonomy of organisms.

    Brenner, Sydney, and Miller, Jeffrey H., eds. Encyclopedia of Genetics. San Diego/London: Academic, 2002. 4 vol.
    Bobst REF1 QH427 .E53 2002 Non-circulating
    Available electronically from ScienceDirect (
    Entries span the field to cover all major topics of genetics. Also included are articles on the history of genetics.

    Cavalli-Sforza, L. Luca; Menozzi, Paolo; and Alberto Piazza. The History and Geography of Human Genes. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994.
    Bobst REF1 QH431 .C395 1994
    Provides an introduction to concepts in genetics, a brief review of worldwide genetic history, and detailed information on each geographic region of the world. Includes references and maps.

    Jones, Steve, et. al. Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Evolution. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992.
    Bobst REF1 GN281.C345 1992
    Lengthy, signed chapters on diverse topics relevant to the study of human evolution. Considerable attention is given to the social organization and life of primates, primate genetics and primate evolution. Especially clear presentation of material with ample illustrations. Glossary and suggestions for further reading.

    Pagel, Mark, ed. Encyclopedia of Evolution. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. 2 vol.
    Bobst REF1 QH360.2 .O83 2002
    Available electronically from Oxford Reference Online (
    Aims to be a comprehensive reference on evolution. Includes overview essays as well as signed entries with references. Large format with many illustrations.

    Spencer, Frank, ed. History of Physical Anthropology: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland Publishing, 1997. 2 volumes.
    Bobst REF1 GN50.3.H57 1997
    Contributors from around the world cover: development of specific areas of scientific inquiry and theory, a description of the discipline's intellectual and institutional development in specific countries throughout the world, and biographical sketches. Signed entries with references and bibliographies.

    Wolfheim, Jaclyn H. Primates of the World: Distribution, Abundance, and Conservation Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1983.
    Bobst REF1 QL737.P9 W64 1983
    Synthesis of information on nonhuman primates, including distribution maps.


    Scott Collard's picture
    Scott Collard
    Sorry, I'm either unavailable or your javaScript is disabled; you can try me via email at
    Bobst Library

    5th Floor, #513
    Social:Twitter Page