Our award-winning eHRAF World Cultures database contains ethnographic collections covering all aspects of cultural and social life, making it an ideal repository of cultural knowledge for anthropological and cross-cultural research within and across disciplines. It was awarded CHOICE’s Outstanding Academic Title Award as well as named a “Top 10 Internet Resource” in 2015.
eHRAF is distinctive among other databases in having subject indexing at the paragraph level provided by HRAF anthropologists. The subjects that are used in indexing and searching the ethnographic texts in eHRAF are based on the Outline of Cultural Materials (OCM), a vast thesaurus of subject terms and descriptions. This allows for detailed and precise searching for concepts not easily found with keywords. The eHRAF application offers researchers the ability to search by cultures, subjects, regions, and even subsistence types. The Outline of World Cultures (OWC) is also used to organize the eHRAF World Cultures and eHRAF Archaeology databases. First developed by G.P. Murdock in the 1950s as a classification system of cultures of the world originally organized by region and country, it is presently organized by region and sub-region and covers over 2500 cultures.
Accessing eHRAF World Cultures
Access to the eHRAF World Cultures database requires membership (or temporary password). Members of HRAF can benefit from a variety of free support and services including online info sessions for librarians, teaching support for faculty, online student exercises, and even customized webinars for student classes. A free 30-day trial for eHRAF World Cultures is available for interested individuals and a 60-day trial is available for institutions. Find out more or request a trial.