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The eHRAF Collection of Ethnography contains full-text information on over 100 cultures and ethnic groups. For each culture, all aspects of cultural and social life are covered, with topics ranging from religious beliefs, bringing up children, causes and cures of diseases, to economic and political behavior.

Subject indexing at the paragraph level, as well as keyword searching, enables precise retrieval of information from the text of books, articles, and dissertations included in the collection. Cultures range from ethnic groups in Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania, to indigenous and immigrant groups in North and South America.

Full-text files for many cultures not currently included in eHRAF are available on microfiche (GN301 H86). A selection of cultures from the microfiche collection, as well as cultures not in that collection, are added to eHRAF once a year.

Search tips:

  • Understanding Boolean operators is vital for understanding the various search functions in eHRAF. Within the OCM Subject Search and the Exact Word or Phrase Search you can use Boolean operators (and, or, not) by using the pull-down menus. Do not type in the words "words "and," "or," and "not" in the boxes. Whenever you use Boolean operators you will either restrict or expand your search. The drop-down menus with Boolean operators include:

    • And (both terms must be present) restricts a search,
    • Or (either term must be present) expands a search,
    • Not (excludes second term) restricts a search.

  • The OCM subject codes from the Outline of Cultural Materials (OCM) are what make eHRAF so unique and different from other full-text databases. The power of the eHRAF Collection of Ethnography is that the HRAF analysts code every paragraph in the eHRAF documents with OCM subject codes that relate to the subjects/topics discussed.

    The OCM subject codes (OCMs for short) enable you to search the full-text of documents more effectively because you are not limited by certain wording (misspelled words or words in languages other than English). To find OCMs click on the add/remove link to the right of the box in the OCM Subject Code Search. A pop-up box will appear with an A-Z index (default). Alternatively, you can click on the OCM Hierarchy in the pop-up box to choose OCMs from the entire list of available major OCM major and sub-categories.

  • Terms in upper case are actual OCM category names; terms in lower case are words from every-day language that are associated with specific OCM subject categories. This is not an index of words in the documents. The A-Z Index is far from complete so you may also want to view the OCM Hierarchy in the Search or Browse mode if you don't find categories you are looking for. It is very important to click on "note" and read the full description of the OCM category. For example, the upper case term DISCIPLINE AND MORALE (listed in the example below) is the title of an OCM category 703 that pertains specifically to discipline in the Armed Forces.
  • Here is an example of how to use the index.

    • add DISCIPLINE AND MORALE (code 703) note
    • add Discipline of children (code 861) note
    • add Discipline, military (code 703) note
    • add Discipline, religious (code 794) note
    • add Discipline, school (code 876) note

    Suppose you are interested in how a society disciplines children. You look up discipline under "D" and you will find that Discipline of children (found in the second line above) seems to fit what you are looking for. Clicking on "note" takes you to a description of the OCM 861 (Techniques of Socialization). Using OCM 861 in your search will take you to all the paragraphs with ideas and practices relating to techniques of child socialization (e.g., praising, scolding, punishing, etc.)


Where is it :

Go to the UNLV Libraries' home page. Under Find, select Articles, then under Article databases by name, click on the letter E and select eHRAF Collection of Ethnography.

Quick link:

Click here for the eHRAF Collection of Ethnography homepage

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