New e-resource: Anthropology Resource Library

Cambridge anthropology is now supported by online access to the collections of the Anthropology Resource Library, including sound and video archives and digital transcripts of ethnographic fieldwork studies

Cambridge University now has access to the full wealth and range of the Anthropology Resource Library from ProQuest. The online library comprises the largest collection of ethnographic video documentaries and primary footage—over 1,500 hours, with many rare and exclusive titles from independent production companies and researchers.

The library also includes 2,000 historic field recordings from around the world, alongside their supporting field notes and ethnographers’ metadata, opening new paths for the study of music in its cultural context; 250,000 audio recordings from a wide range of labels including Smithsonian Folkways Recordings; rare and previously unpublished field research from partners such as the Royal Anthropological Institute, the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and university archives such as the London School of Economics and Vassar College. The Anthropology Resource Library can be accessed via this link or you can go directly to the individual collections:

Anthropological Fieldwork Online

This fully indexed, primary-source database unfolds the historical development of anthropology from a global perspective—with archival collections from North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific — including key field notebooks, images, and recordings of the early- to mid-20th century. The collection brings together the work of scholars who shaped the theories and methods students learn about, critique, and reshape in their own fieldwork endeavors today. Content is focused around each scholar’s prominent expedition field experience, with comprehensive inclusion of fieldwork, contextualizing documents from the same time period, including correspondence, and subsequent writings that led to major publications, such as draft manuscripts, lectures, and articles. Users will see the full qualitative scholarly process unfold in all its iterations, from data gathering in the field to later analysis, early writings, and final publication

Anthropology Online

Anthropology Online brings together a wide range of written ethnographies, seminal texts, memoirs, and contemporary studies, covering human culture and behavior the world over. The collection contains the published versions of the research aggregated in Anthropological Fieldwork Online, making this database a perfect companion piece. When used together, the two collections present firsthand insight into the process that transforms field notes into finished manuscripts. The collection is a comprehensive resource for the study of social and cultural life throughout the 20th century, providing the works of such key practitioners and theorists as Franz Boas, Ruth Benedict, Margaret Mead, Claude Levi-Strauss, Clifford Geertz, Max Gluckman, David MacDougall, Paul Rabinow, E. E. Evans- Pritchard, Robert Borofsky, and more

Ethnographic video online

Ethnographic Video Online contains documentaries, shorts, and ethnographies from every continent and hundreds of cultures, and include films from the most significant names in visual anthropology, such as the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) ethnographic film library, and many independent producers and distributors previously unavailable outside their regions. With footage from the early days of film in the field, contemporary counterpoints, and the classic titles, these films provide core visual materials for anthropology courses at all levels. Explore growing areas of study such as environmental anthropology, medical anthropology, and language preservation

Ethnographic sound archives online

Ethnographic Sound Archives Online is an initiative to digitize and make available previously unpublished field recordings that underpin the history of ethnomusicology and that represent research around the world. Curated to integrate field recordings with their contextualizing field notes and supporting field materials, the collection opens new paths for analyzing, interrogating, and connecting historic primary sources in context. Music is tightly woven into society and culture — it accompanies rituals and dances, and fills social spaces. It is the goal of the ethnomusicologist to document sound in this broader context, so field recordings are often accompanied by film footage, photographs, handwritten notes, and records of the larger soundscape. Where possible, the audio in this collection is presented along with its contextual materials, totaling more than 10,000 pages of field notes and 150 hours of film footage, recreating music’s relationship to its cultural context in a digital space

These new online collections have been made available through special funding provided by the University to support teaching and learning impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the unavailability of library resources on campus.

Find more resources in anthropology and get expert support from librarians, visit the Anthropology & Archaeology LibGuide.

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