Features, Benefits & Uses

eHRAF World Cultures contains ethnographic collections covering all aspects of cultural and social life. eHRAF is unique in having subject indexing at the paragraph level. This allows detailed and precise searching for concepts not easily found with keywords.


  • Ethnographic collections organized by regions, subregions, and cultures
  • Subject classification system is based on HRAF‘s Outline of Cultural Materials (OCM) thesaurus
    • Anthropologists at HRAF meticulously index each and every paragraph
    • Searches for concepts in hard-to-find places of the text.
  • Advanced Search is powerful
    • Build simple or complex searches with cultures, subjects, or keywords
    • Sort or narrow by subsistence types or cross-cultural sample
    • Precise searching for relevant matches in paragraphs and pages
  • Cross-cultural database includes
    • Indigenous peoples and ethnic groups
    • Immigrant cultures in the U.S. and Canada
    • Historical to contemporary time periods
    • Probability Sample Files designed for hypothesis testing
    • Currently over 300 cultures and over 600,000 pages
  • Comprehensive summaries in Browse Cultures include topics such as
    • Economy
    • History and Cultural Relations
    • Family and Kinship
    • Sociopolitical organization
    • Religion

Benefits and Uses

  • As a research tool
    • Cross-cultural research
    • Comparative and global studies
    • Studying individual cultures
    • Exploring human diversity in the recent past and present
  • As a teaching tool in universities, colleges and high schools
    • Anthropology
    • Other social sciences–economics, sociology, psychology, political science
    • History
    • Religion
    • Law and Justice
    • Arts and Architecture
    • Interdisciplinary programs–Area studies, child development, environment, multicultural studies, peace and conflict, gender studies, gerontology
    • Agriculture
    • Biology and Botany
    • Health and nutrition
    • Medicine and nursing
    • Astronomy
  • Unlimited on and off-campus access; IP and/or password authentication
  • Ideal for long-distance learning
  • Online teaching





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