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Anthropology Library Guide

Research Tools for Anthropology, including the subfields Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology, Linguistics, and Physical Anthropology.

Tips for Finding Ethnographies

Full-length ethnographies are usually published as books. Try these search tips on the Howard-Tilton homepage to find ethnographic books.

If searching for a North or South American tribe use the "group name" + "Indian":

  • Quechua Indians
  • Yanomamo Indians

If searching for an African, European or Asian tribe use the "group name" + "continent" + "people":

  • Dogon African People
  • Tamil Indic People

It is easier to find books on some tribal groups by just using their tribal names. Note: the spelling of names in library search tools may differ from an author's spelling.

  • Tuareg vs. Taureg
  • Maasai vs Masai

Which word do I use: Ethnology or Ethnography?

These two terms are often used interchangeably although their definitions are somewhat different. Remember, an ethnography is the the study of single groups through direct contact with the culture, while an ethnology takes the research that ethnographers have compiled and then compares and contrasts different cultures. An ethnography provides descriptive analysis, while an ethnology provides theoretical analysis. Try searching with the following combinations:

"ETHNOLOGY" or "ETHNOGRAPHY" and the name of a country:

  • Ethnology and Australia
  • Ethnography and Tasmania

"ETHNOLOGY" or "ETHNOGRAPHY" and the name of a tribe or ethnic group:

  • Ethnology and Taureg
  • Ethnography and Dogon

Other Ethno- terms you may want to consider:

  • Ethnocultural
  • Ethnographic
  • Ethnographical
  • Ethnologic
  • Ethnological

Additional Search Tools

Anthropologists may also find historical studies helpful when conducting research on a specific cultural group. Those working on Asian topics may want to explore the Bibliography of Asian Studies.

Background Information

There are many encyclopedias and reference sources dedicated to specific cultural groups and traditions. Below are just a few of those available at Howard-Tilton. Ask a librarian if you need help locating a similar work on the cultural group you're researching.

Print encyclopedias on general aspects of cultural anthropology are also available in the stacks at Howard-Tilton.

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