Thursday, September 13, 2012

New Content and A New Look for eHRAF World Cultures

The electronic Human Relations Area Files (eHRAF) database of full-text ethnographic field research, eHRAF World Cultures, is one of the best sources for the comparative study of cultures, and it continues to get better with expanding coverage of human cultures and new content.

The database now includes over 4,000 documents - many of them book-length studies - in full-text, representing almost 500,000 pages and covering 191 different human cultures across the globe. The database supports cross-cultural searching and browsing by a multitude of topics, and because each paragraph is indexed it is easy to zoom in to relevant passages, even in documents that are several hundred pages in length.

eHRAF's support team has developed a number of useful aids to help you learn how to use the database for efficient and effective searching. These include:
  • A series of video tutorials covering all aspects of searching and browsing the collection
  • A 12-page "Quick User's Guide" (in PDF) containing screen shots and illustrated examples
  • A "visual tutorial" (PowerPoint converted to PDF) to provide you with an orientation to the database
  • Free training webinars that can be scheduled with eHRAF staff (but please schedule a training class with Cheng Library staff first!)
The database is also rolling out a new and improved search interface, now available in beta at eHRAF World Cultures Beta. This new search interface will be refined over the next year and will replace the current version of eHRAF World Cultures in the summer of 2013, so try it now and let us know what you think. We will pass along any suggestions or recommendations you have to eHRAF staff.

If you have questions or would like more information about eHRAF World Cultures, please contact Kurt Wagner (Library Liaison to the Anthropology Department) at wagnerk at wpunj dot edu, ext, 2285; or Richard Kearney (Electronic Resources Librarian) at kearneyr at wpunj dot edu, ext. 2165.

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