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HRAF (Human Relations Area File)  

Information and detailed instructions for using the HRAF collection.
Last Updated: Oct 24, 2012 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

What is HRAF? Print Page

eHRAF World Cultures Database Trial

  • eHRAF World Cultures (30 day trial)
    eHRAF World Cultures is an online cross-cultural database that contains information on all aspects of cultural and social life. The annually-growing eHRAF database is unique in that the information is organized into cultures and ethnic groups and the full-text sources are subject-indexed at the paragraph level.

HRAF (Human Relations Area File)

HRAF (Human Relations Area File)
Call Number: GN301 .H8
* WHAT: The HRAF is a massive survey of over 300 world cultures containing background information and specific data on a tribe, ethnic category, country, or cultural activity, as well as, belief systems, superstitions, political structure, architecture, kinship units, settlement patterns, etc.

The WWU Libraries does not own the complete HRAF collection. This complex series of microforms is supported by a printed user's guide available on the literature carousel near the Microform Index shelves.

* FORMAT & SCOPE: Microfiche. Partial / selected holdings only.

* ORGANIZATION: Each citation for this collection will contain a "Culture Number" (ex. AM1) which will designate which area of the collection the document is located in. Second is a "Category Number" (or subject area number) within the culture (ex, Category 10-103) which may encompass one or more fiche. And third a "Document Number" which refers to the document within those categories. Document Numbers are printed large enough on the fiche to be visible without magnification. The HRAF is a work in progress that continues to be added to. As a result the headers on these fiche are inconsistent and may be confusing.

* USING THE HRAF: Detailed instructions and information for using this collection.

* INDEX: There are three indexes to the HRAF. The first two listed below should be used in conjunction with each other. With these two tools you can locate the material about a particular aspect of a culture.
- Outline of World Cultures GV405.M83 1975
Provides description of cultures by continent and HRAF "Culture Codes". Cultures that are part of the our collections have pencil notations in the index.
- Outline of Cultural Materials GN345.3 .O95 1967
Provides descriptions of cultural features such as "Extended Families" and the HRAF "Category Numbers" for them.
- HRAF Source Bibliography Z733 .H8 A34 (two binders)
In addition to the indexes above there are two loose leaf binders which contain a listing of the specific articles and works contained in the HRAF. These binders are arranged by "Culture Codes". There is an index to the codes in the back of Binder #2. A number precedes each article cited in these binders which can be used to locate the article on the HRAF fiche. First find the "Culture Code" in the microfiche drawer and then look for the author's name and the citation number at the top center of the card. In instances where there are several short items on one fiche only the first fiche and the last number and authors are shown. Those that fall between are also on the fiche.

Librarian for Anthropology

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Jeanne Armstrong, Ph.D.

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