eHRAF World Cultures Library Info

Librarians from new and trial member institutions may use the information on this web page to set up the eHRAF World Cultures database at their digital libraries.  Information about eHRAF includes EZProxy configuration, browser compatibility, URL info, descriptions of and suggestions for cross-referencing eHRAF, and library contacts. Librarians from existing member institutions may also find this information relevant when they update the database info for eHRAF.

Important! Please note that we are increasingly receiving emails from users of member institutions with log-in requests to eHRAF World Cultures. While users can automatically access eHRAF from on-campus and IP authenticated locations, they will be prompted for a username and password when trying to log on to eHRAF using the direct URL (as listed below) from off-campus locations.

We encourage users from HRAF member institutions and/or trial members to access eHRAF through their digital library portals to ensure automatic authentication and proper recording of usage.  We ask you to please convey this important information to your users, especially to faculty who have their students use eHRAF for teaching assignments. HRAF thanks you for your assistance.

Database Provider Human Relations Area Files, Inc. at Yale University
Database Name & URL 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.

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

As contact(s) we are looking for librarian(s) who can channel important messages from HRAF to various other librarians and sometimes to faculty and/or department liaisons. The emails that HRAF sends occasionally (usually about 4 or 5 times a year) to librarians and faculty of our member institutions may contain info about support services such as how-to’s and suggestions for eHRAF in research and teaching. eHRAF content related emails such as culture updates and showcasing new features and improvements may also be addressed to the library and the faculty. However, emails about technical support for eHRAF such as IP settings or URL updates, are usually only addressed to the library. Very rarely does HRAF send email announcements about billing and acquisitions issues. Because of these different types of emails, we’d appreciate either a generic email address for the library (e.g. library@….edu), or for a person who decides where the emails should go to. Details on the contact info should include first and last name, title, and email address. No phone number is needed.

Because HRAF sometimes receives requests for logins to eHRAF from users of member institutions, we also like to have an (anthropology) subject librarian as additional contact person. That way we can put the users in direct contact with your library, so you can provide them with the appropriate link to eHRAF.

Please email the contact information (names, titles and email addresses) to Christiane Cunnar, HRAF Member Services at Thank you.  Your help is much appreciated.





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