eHRAF Archaeology Library Info

Librarians from new and trial member institutions may use the information on this web page to set up the eHRAF Archaeology 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.

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.

The following provides information for new and trial members to set up eHRAF Archaeology at their digital library. Existing members also can use this information to update references to eHRAF on their digital library websites.

Database Provider Name & URL Human Relations Area Files at Yale University
Database Name & Access URL eHRAF Archaeology
EZProxy Configuration Title eHRAF Archaeology

Learn more at OCLC.

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

Cross-Referencing the eHRAF Archaeology Database

The following information may help in making the distinction between  eHRAF, the database with its current and former name, and HRAF, the non-profit membership organization that produces this unique online resources. If necessary, cross-referencing the names below might be necessary so that users can easily find and access the eHRAF at the institution’s digital library.

Distinguishing between eHRAF and HRAF:

Human Relations Area Files, Inc. (database provider and non-profit organization at Yale University)
HRAF (abbreviation for Human Relations Area Files)
eHRAF Archaeology (current name- please make sure to use it when referencing the eHRAF database)
eHRAF Collection of Archaeology (former name of the database-phased out in 2007)

Not sure how to list eHRAF on your library website? Feel free to contact us for assistance.

Short Description

eHRAF Archaeology is an online cross-cultural database containing information on world’s prehistory. The annually-growing eHRAF database is organized by archaeological traditions and the documents are subject-indexed at the paragraph level. eHRAF Archaeology is a unique resource designed to facilitate comparative archaeological studies.

Long Description

eHRAF Archaeology is an online cross-cultural database containing descriptive information on archaeological traditions of the world and is modeled after eHRAF World Cultures. eHRAF is unique because each archaeological tradition contains a variety of documents (books, articles, and dissertations) that have been indexed and organized according to HRAF’s comprehensive tradition and subject classification systems: the Outline of Archaeological Traditions (OAT), and the Outline of Cultural Materials (OCM). These retrieval systems extend search capability well beyond keyword searching thus allowing for precise tradition and subject retrieval, even in a foreign language. The eHRAF Archaeology database provides researchers and students access to archaeological materials for comparative studies within and across regions.

Subject Areas

Mostly cultural and evolutionary anthropology; archaeology (including ethnoarchaeology, experimental archaeology and comparative archaeology); prehistory; ethnographic and cross-cultural studies; history; art history; social sciences; humanities; material culture and museum studies.

Please browse the list of Traditions and Topics covered in eHRAF Archaeology to determine whether HRAF’s uniquely indexed and searchable database could also benefit research in areas outside archaeology, ethnohistory and prehistory.


An online resource that is organized by regions and archaeological traditions to facilitate comparisons. Documents on archaeological traditions are searchable by subject and keywords at the paragraph level for precise retrieval of information.

Dates of Coverage

Mostly prehistory.

Update Schedule

Currently we add five archaeological traditions annually with approximately 10,000 pages. The focus is on archaeological tradition sequences. Some randomly selected traditions are also added from the Outline of Archaeological Traditions.

Sources Indexed

Books, dissertations, journal articles, essays, and monographs.

Features and Benefits

  • Brief overviews of archaeological traditions covering general topics such as time period, settlement, subsistence, environment and more.
  • Users can browse a single archaeological tradition or conduct cross-cultural research within regions or throughout the world.
  • Students learn about similarities and differences in archaeological traditions around the world.
  • Great teaching tool for high school and community college students to learn how prehistoric cultures (e.g. the Indus Neolithic) are associated with country (e.g. Pakistan), major region (e.g., Asia), and subregion names (e.g. South Asia), and even with subsistence types (e.g. hunter-gatherers).
  • Distance learning tool with personalized webinar support to teach online undergraduate and graduate student courses.
  • Ideal for interdisciplinary 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 Matthew Longcore, HRAF Member Services at Thank you.  Your help is much appreciated.