ANTH 29010 World Ethnography

Best Bets for Finding Journal Articles

Additional Databases

Subject databases Dissertations -- Many ethnographies originally appear as doctoral dissertations. These are book-length in size. General

Doing Ethnography

For both overviews and techniques of how to do ethnographic research, books generally work better than articles. The best subject headings to use are:

Where in the library can I find ethnographies

There is no one place in the library to find ethnographies. There are many books in the library that are ethnographies, and other ethnographic studies will be found in journal articles.

To find books that are or include ethnographies, search the online catalog. Unfortunately "Ethnography" is not an approved Library of Congress Subject Heading. Instead try searching "Ethnology" as the subject heading, or better still Ethnology with a particular region or country or other geographic name as a subheading. Two other subject headings to try are "Indigenous peoples" and "Ethnic Groups." For these subject headings, it works best to add a particular geographic sub-heading. Your best be might be to use the name of the individual ethnic group and people as your search term. Keep in mind, however, that common names for ethnic groups may not be the name used in the Subject Heading. For example, for Ibo you need to use the Subject Heading Igbo (African people). Fortunately, there are many see references that will steer you to the right place if you guess the wrong term. Another trick to try is doing an advanced search combining a geographical or group name on one line and "ethnograph?" on another line. The ? at the end of ethnograph allows you to search for ethnography and ethographies and ethnographic all at the same time. If there is a particular aspect of a group's culture you are interested in, start with that specific term. For example, Sex customs, Folk music, Ethnopsychology. Combine it, then, with the geographic name or name of the group or people. In the stacks, many ethnographies are found in the GNs, where much of the anthropology collection is found, but others will be found in D (world history) or E and F (History of the Americas). Ethnomusicology would be found in M.

In most periodical databases, you are better off typing in the name of the ethnic group or people anyway, instead of using the search terms "ethnology" or "ethnography," since those terms are most often used in articles that discuss the terms theoretically rather than send you to ethnographic studies.

If you need help identifying ethnic groups and peoples or getting some background information about them, you can explore the reference collection in the library for several multiple volume resources, listed elsewhere in this guide.
If all you need is a list of indigenous peoples to help you identify a name to get you started, there is a Wiki page that provides that.

Reference Works

These encyclopedias and handbook are valuable tools for background reading, even if they are only available in print and some are not very recent. All but one are located in the Ithaaca College Library's reference collection on the main floor of the Gannet Center.
  • Africana: the Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience (2nd ed.) Oxford, 2005. Ref DT14 A37435 2005
  • American Immigrant Cultures: Builders of a Nation (2 vols.) Macmillan, 1997. Ref E 184 A1 A63448
  • Encyclopedia of Medical Anthropology: Health and Illness in the World's Cultures (2 vols.) Springer, 2004. -- For specific cultural groups, use Volume 2..
  • Encyclopedia of Race and Ethnic Studies. Routledge, 2004. GN495.6 .C37 2004 [in general stacks]
  • Encyclopedia of World Cultures (10 vols.) GK Hall, 1991-1996 Ref GN 307 E53 1991
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America. Gale, 1995. Ref E184 A1 G14 1995.
  • Handbook of North American Indians (20 vols.) Smithsonian Institution, 1978- . Ref E76.2 H36 -- Most volumes provide regional coverage, but other volumes cover a variety of aspects of Native American history and culture.
  • Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States (4 vols.) Oxford, 2005. Ref E184 S75 L3622 2005
  • Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life (4 vols.) Gale, 1998. Ref GN333 .W67 1998

Contact Us

picture of Abby Juda
Natural Sciences Librarian
(607) 274-3889

Citing Sources

The American Anthropological Association follows the Chicago Manual of Style. In 2009, the AAA updated its own 9-page style guide supplement. However, the supplement is aimed more at editors of journal articles than students with term papers. Even in the supplemental guide, the AAA advises, except in some very special cases, "follow Chicago."

Tell Us What You Think

Please take a moment to complete this very short survey. Your responses will help us to address any further questions you may have.