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Anthropology Resource in Microform

Human Relations Area Files (HRAF)

HRAF is a huge collection of primary sources covering many world cultures, with information on all aspects of cultural and social life. The sources include whole books, articles, dissertations, field studies, and more.

Organization and Classification

In the paper and fiche versions of HRAF all documents about a particular culture are grouped together.  Each culture collection is identified by a unique alphanumeric code based on eight world regions:

A- Asia | E- Europe | F- Africa| M- Middle East | N- North America | O- Oceania | R- Eurasia (cultures located in the former Soviet Union and Russia) | S- South America  

Each of the major regions, e.g. Africa (F), is then subdivided, usually on a political basis, into sub-regions designated by the addition of a second letter:  For example,"FF" designates the country of Nigeria and its component cultural units ... Finally, within each sub-region, more specific units are defined and assigned a number; these may be country entities, such as "RD01" for Ukraine, or "cultural" units such as "FL12" for the Maasai. Each culture is therefore assigned an alphanumeric code in its regional, political, and cultural context.

In eHRAF World Cultures,



HRAF materials at UVA are available in microfiche and digital formats.
UVA has all the fiche that was produced (fiche production stopped in 1993) and a subscription to  eHRAF World CulturesNot all the HRAF works on fiche are digitized in eHRAF. The eHRAF database contains works added since 1993, when microfiche production ended, plus some of the earlier works. See current list  that shows which cultures in the HRAF fiche collection have been digitized. Note:this is not a list by title, only by culture code, e.g. FA 08.

1. First, search eHRAF by author or title to find out if the work you're seeking has become available online. Choose from the drop-down menu to be able to search by author or title.

2. If the work is not in eHRAF, there are two options for locating a copy at UVA:

A. Locate fiche from call number information in a VIRGO record
ll HRAF titles in microfiche have records in VIRGO. Most of these VIRGO records contain all the information necessary to locate the fiche that matches the title in VIRGO. Note: you need the call number Micfich 2595 and the HRAF alpha-numeric culture code listed in the VIRGO record in order to put your hands on the desired fiche.

Example: find Les Bambara / par Viviana Paques, Call Number  
Micfich 2595 FA8 cat.116 3
Go to the the fiche cabinet containing Micfich 2595 in the south end of Shannon 3rd floor east. Next, find the culture unit group, e.g. FA 8, in the appropriate drawer. Next, within the Category 116 fiche look for the fiche labeled: Category 116 3 Paques FA8 Bambara.

B. Locate fiche using
HRAF print Author Index 
The HRAF print Author Index is one section in a collection of HRAF indexes. This collection of indexes is contained in a white loose leaf binder labeled HRAF Indexes Human Relations Area FIles Indexes - Area, Culture Unit, Author, Series, located in the Microforms Guides Area, under the call number Micfich 2595, near the 3rd floor service desk.

Example: find Les Bambara / par Viviana Paques.

Look up the author's last name ( e.g. Paques), in the print Author index, contained in the white binder labeled HRAF Indexes Human Relations Area FIles Indexes - Area, Culture Unit, Author, Series. Note the number(s) next to the author's name (e.g. FA 8-3, next to Paques, Viviana).

To locate this Les Bambara fiche, first find the culture unit group, e.g. FA 8, in the appropriate Micfich 2595 drawer. (Note: all full-text works in the HRAF fiche collection will be found among the Category 116 fiche, so always go to the fiche marked Category 116 within the culture unit given in your citation to find the work you're seeking.) Within the Category 116 fiche find the author name and number cited in the Author Index. For example, you'll find Les Bambara on a fiche labeled: Category 116 3 Paques FA8 Bambara.