Anthropology includes both a cultural component that examines the role of culture in shaping the lives of people from every corner of the world and in every walk of life and a physical component that focuses on early human evolution and the adaptations leading to anatomically modern people.


Scope and Purpose:

A collection supporting the Interdisciplinary Program in Anthropology needs coverage at the initial study level in the areas of culture and Language, human evolution, Old World archaeology, the archaeology of the Americas, ethnology, and the place of magic, myth and religion in society. Materials are collected at the advanced study in the areas of qualitative and quantitative methods in anthropology, anthropological theory, archaeological theory and methods, culture and personality, social anthropology, and medical anthropology.


The Interdisciplinary Program in Anthropology offers major and minor fields of study at the undergraduate level. The six required courses for the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Anthropology degree are: Cultural Anthropology, Human Evolution, Introduction to Archaeology, Anthropology in the 21st Century, Introduction to Linguistics, and Qualitative Methods: Basis of Anthropological Research. Concentration and program electives are also required and are grouped into the archaeological, biological, cultural, and linguistics fields of study. For these electives, the program relies upon course offerings in biology, classics, English, geography and planning, geology, history, modern Languages, and sociology. Thus, collections that support the curricula of these various departments also support the Interdisciplinary Program in Anthropology. The fund for anthropology only supports courses offered directly by the Program.

The Department of Classical Studies, Anthropology and Archaeology also offers an undergraduate-level Interdisciplinary Certificate in Archaeology, which draws upon coursework in archaeology, geology, geography, science and engineering technology, and biology. The certificate is aimed at training students in cultural resource management.

Many courses are cross-cultural or specifically related to non-Western, pre-industrial cultures. These include courses on human diversity; cultures of the world; magic, myth and religion; archaeology of the Americas; culture and personality; and, social anthropology. Courses on Indians of North America and South America survey the native cultures of those continents. Medical anthropology surveys both Western and non-Western medical systems. Anthropology in the 21st century and anthropological research examine anthropological theories and methods; other courses survey archaeological theories and methods.

Geographical Coverage:

Materials on non-Western cultures are needed specifically for courses in cultures of the world; magic, myth, and religion; Indians of North America and South America; and the archaeology of the Americas. Materials on both Western and non-Western cultures are needed for courses in cultural anthropology, culture and personality, social anthropology, and medical anthropology. Essentially, courses on medicine, personality, and the New World and its native cultures require extensive Geographical Coverage. General ethnographies of cultural groups in other parts of the world are required for cross-cultural research.


About ninety percent of this collection is in English. Other Languages are Spanish, French, and German. Nationals writing in those Languages study many areas of the world which were once part of colonial empires. Landmark studies and writings by major authors are collected regardless of Language.

Period Coverage:

There are few limits. Studies of pre-industrial societies predominate. Recently published studies are collected more intensively than earlier studies. Contemporary studies are needed for the study of medicine in the last 200 years and of American Indians during the same period.

Publication Types:

Descriptive, historical, and theoretical studies published as monographs or serials are collected at the advanced study level.


Print monographs and journals in print, microform, and electronic formats are collected. In addition, the University Libraries is an institutional member of the Human Relations Area Files, Inc., and provides access to the HRAF Collection of Ethnography in microfiche, CD-ROM, and electronic formats. Videos and other audiovisual materials are acquired selectively for this collection.

Remote Sources:

The Center for Research Libraries collection and OhioLINK member libraries support advanced studies in many areas of anthropology.


Normally this collection will not acquire materials in primatology, human biology, or classical archaeology.