About HRAF

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

Human Relations Area Files (HRAF) is internationally recognized in the field of cultural anthropology. Founded in 1949 at Yale University, HRAF is a membership-supported nonprofit organization comprised of universities, colleges, and research institutions. Its mission is to promote understanding of cultural diversity and commonality in the past and present. To accomplish this mission, HRAF produces scholarly resources and infrastructure for research, teaching and learning, and supports and conducts original research on cross-cultural variation.

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, expertly indexed databases. Our flagship products are the eHRAF World Cultures and eHRAF Archaeology databases. We also provide open-access resources including Explaining Human Culture, Teaching eHRAF, and various resources for Cross-Cultural Research.

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).

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