About HRAF

Investigate cross cultural patterns, experience anthropology, research social worlds.

Human Relations Area Files, Inc. (HRAF) is an internationally recognized organization in the field of cultural anthropology. Founded in 1949 at Yale University, HRAF is a not-for-profit membership consortium of universities, colleges, and research institutions. Its mission is to encourage and facilitate the cross-cultural study of human culture, society and behavior in the past and present.

In the 1930s, behavioral scientists at Yale’s Institute of Human Relations started to develop a collection of cultural materials classified by subject at the paragraph-level enabling quick access to research materials. HRAF grew out of these efforts. Today, HRAF is committed to developing dynamic, fully-indexed electronic collections online. HRAF has two electronic collections: eHRAF World Cultures and eHRAF Archaeology. Availability of HRAF collections is limited to members of the HRAF consortium.

HRAF publishes encyclopedias in conjunction with major reference publishers. Although HRAF Press no longer publishes current titles, back copies are available. HRAF also distributes monographs on demand (see publications).

HRAF is a financially independent research agency of Yale University and is located on Prospect Street in New Haven, Connecticut.

Who We Are

Meet Our Team
Officers & Executive Committee
Sponsoring & Associate Members
Collaborations & Links

Publications, Archives, and History

Publications & Archives
History & Development of HRAF
HRAF Timeline