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Anthropology: Ethnographies and Primary Sources

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

Tips on locating Ethnographies

Whenever possible, search directly under the names of individual ethnic groups and peoples as listed in the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). LCSH can be searched in print (Bobst REF1 Z695.Z8 L524a), or online ( The Library of Congress list of ethnic groups and peoples can be found in the LCSH books under the term ETHNOLOGY. For example, there we find both the terms JAPANESE and also AINU.

Researchers may use BobCat to locate book-length ethnographies on a particular culture. A beginning list of works can be obtained by looking under the heading ETHNOLOGY which is then subdivided by geographic area, e.g. ETHNOLOGY-JAPAN. Other subject headings to search are ETHNIC GROUPS or ETHNICITY (which are also subdivided geographically).

Researchers may also wish to try the subheading SOCIAL LIFE AND CUSTOMS added to the name of a group or a place, (e.g., JAPAN - SOCIAL LIFE AND CUSTOMS) to obtain additional references. Another useful subheading is SOCIAL CONDITIONS (e.g., WOMEN - JAPAN - SOCIAL CONDITIONS). Other headings may be useful depending on the culture to be researched.

Another research technique is to begin by looking through a recent bibliography from which you will be able to identify additional sources. The Encyclopedia of World Cultures is generally useful for this purpose.

Ethnographic data

Video sources