eHRAF World Cultures Library Info

The following provides information to set up eHRAF World Cultures for your digital library.  Existing members will also benefit from the following information (e.g. proper cross-referencing the former name of the eHRAF database).

Database Provider Human Relations Area Files, Inc. at Yale University
Database Name eHRAF World Cultures
EZProxy Configuration Title eHRAF World Cultures

Browser Compatibility. For optimal results use:

* Mozilla Firefox 5.0+.
* Chrome 15.*+
* Safari 553.*+
* Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0+. We will support Internet Explorer 8 but it is not recommended.

For problems with other proxy server configurations or technical issues (e.g. access problems) contact HRAF at or call 203-764-9401.

Please check the IPs regularly to make sure that all on and off-campus locations are properly connected to eHRAF World Cultures. If your institution doesn’t have off-campus IP authentication, contact HRAF at for an institutional password.

Cross-Referencing eHRAF World Cultures

Human Relations Area Files, Inc. at Yale University (database provider)
HRAF (abbreviation for Human Relations Area Files)
eHRAF Collection of Ethnography (former name for eHRAF World Cultures)

Short Description

eHRAF World Cultures is an online cross-cultural database that contains descriptive information on all aspects of cultural and social life. The annually-growing eHRAF database is unique in that the information is organized by cultures and ethnic groups and every document is subject-indexed at the paragraph level, facilitating precise retrieval within documents.

Long Description

The eHRAF World Cultures is an online cross-cultural database containing descriptive information on cultures and ethnic groups from around the world. eHRAF is unique because each culture contains a variety of documents (books, articles, and dissertations) that have been subject-indexed at the paragraph level by anthropologists according to HRAF’s comprehensive Outline of Cultural Materials (OCM). This feature extends search capability well beyond keyword searching, allowing for precise culture and subject retrieval, even in a foreign language. As an ethnographic database, eHRAF appeals to many academic disciplines in the social sciences, humanities, medicine, and any other area with an interest in cultural diversity.

Subject Areas (short)

Social sciences (emphasis on anthropology and archaeology, psychology, sociology, and history), humanities, ethnomedicine.

Subject Areas (long)

Mostly cultural, social, and evolutionary anthropology; archaeology (including ethnoarchaeology, experimental archaeology and comparative archaeology); cross-cultural studies; ethnology; ethnographic studies; folklore (emphasis on non-Western literature); linguistics; museum and material culture studies; ethnomedicine; ethnobotany; ethnosociology; ethnohistory; nursing and ethnomedicine, ethnopsychology; childhood studies; political anthropology; anthropology of art; and religious studies.


An electronic resource that is organized by region and culture to facilitate comparisons. Ethnographic documents are searchable by subject and keywords at the paragraph level for precise retrieval of information.

Dates of Coverage

Historical to present.

Update Schedule

Currently we add 20-30 cultures annually with approximately 40,000 pages. About 25% is new ethnographic material and the remaining material is converted from the microfiche collection.

Documents Indexed

Books, dissertations, journal articles, monographs, essays, and some photo collections.

Features and Benefits

  • Designed to facilitate worldwide or other comparative studies of culture.
  • Focus on in-depth descriptions of cultural and social life written by observers (usually anthropologists) past and present.
  • Also includes standardized culture summaries covering economy, social organization and more.
  • Focus is on cultures rather than countries. For example, in the United States and Canada, Native American and First Nations are included as well some immigrant cultures.
  • Distance learning tool.
  • Ideal for interdisciplinary and cross-cultural studies.

Library Contacts

Please provide or keep us updated with names and emails of library contact to help us better serve you, the faculty, students, and researchers.

Library main contacts: The persons who receive occasional emails with information on the contents of the eHRAF databases (e.g. newly added cultures and features, training info & student exercises). The contacts should be subject librarians (e.g. anthropology, archaeology, sociology, social sciences), instructional or reference librarians. We prefer to have at least two contact names and appreciate if you contact us right away if that contact information changes.

Billing contacts: A generic email address (e.g., serials@) or an email for the billing agent for annual billing. If your institution is billed through a consortium then this information is not necessary.

Please email the contact information (names, titles and email addresses) to Christiane Cunnar, HRAF Member Services at





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