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Stony Brook University


This guide is designed to help you find materials related to anthropology research with an emphasis on biological anthropology.

HRAF (Human Relations Area Files)

HRAF (Human Relations Area Files) is a microfiche collection which includes descriptive data on more than 300 groups of people from around the world. It can be useful for anyone looking for background information on different cultures, specific data on different ethnic groups worldwide, or on specific topics such as kinship, political structure, art, and religion.

HRAF produces two online databases: eHRAF World Cultures and eHRAF Archaeology

eHRAF contains ethnographic collections organized by regions, subregions and cultures. Subject classification is based on HRAF's Outline of Cultural Materials. The Outline of Cultural Materials (OCM) lists all of HRAF’s distinct subject categories. Categories are designated by codes. Subject categories are further subdivided. Example: Family (590), Nuclear Family (594), Extended Family (596)

The online User Guide provides information on cross-cultural research and eHRAF.

The Outline of World Cultures (OCW) includes an inventory of all known cultures around the world organized geographically. Each culture or group is designated by a unique code corresponding to geographic location. The codes are as follows:

A=Asia             F=Africa            N=North America              R=Russia/Soviet Union              E=Europe               M=Middle East (includes Muslim societies)              O=Oceana               S=South America

Codes are further subdivided by regions and groups (numeric identifier):

Example: NM9      North America=N    Southwestern States=M     Iroquois=9     


Stony Brook University Libraries' HRAF microfiche is located in an on-campus storage area.  Most of the HRAF collection is cataloged, searchable under keyword hraf. Our collection includes information up to 1993.

Please use the links above and the catalog to identify the microfiche you would like to use. To request access to the microfiche, submit a document delivery request using ILLiad (use your NetID and password to access).  You will be notified via email when the microfiche is available for use at the Melville Library.