tutorial was designed to address the most frequently asked
questions about the eHRAF
databases. It has
benefited from the comments of numerous librarians, faculty, and
students at our academic member institutions who have participated
in our training sessions. The
tutorialís purpose is to provide you with a systematic way to
explore the various aspects of our databases and to serve all
levels of expertise in using eHRAF.
It can be used both individually and for in-class teaching.
note that, while this tutorial uses the eHRAF Collection of
Ethnography, the same techniques apply to the eHRAF Collection of
Archaeology. We have
designed two versions of this tutorial, based on your preferences.
Please select one below:
What is the eHRAF Collection of Ethnography?
eHRAF Collection of Ethnography, or eHRAF Ethnography for short,
is a web-based multicultural database for scholars, researchers,
teachers, and students with an interest in cultural diversity.
With over 350,000 pages of information on all aspects of
social and cultural life and a unique classification and retrieval
system, eHRAF Ethnography serves as an excellent teaching and
research tool for cross-cultural studies.
As of April 2003, there is information on 127 cultures from
around the world.
eHRAF Ethnography database is geared towards people who are looking for
cultural information: on a general subject, on a specific aspect
of a subject, on a particular culture, or on a geographical
region. For the
purposes of demonstration in this tutorial, we have selected
mythology as our general subject.
More specifically, we are interested in the mythological
roles of animals (particularly the wolf) among the Native
Americans of the northwest Plains in the United States.
To search the database effectively, it helps to analyze the
various aspects of our research interests.
Thus, we are researching:
a culture from
a certain geographical area (northwestern Plains in the US)
a specific aspect of a
subject (the wolf as a mythical creature)
database is divided into two sections -- Browse
We will begin with the two Browse modes: Browse Cultures
and Browse Subjects, where you will learn to find cultures in a
geographical region and to find OCM
Subject Codes representing certain subjects.
These are the backbone of eHRAF, containing the unique
culture classification and subject index system.
Since every paragraph of the full-text materials is
subject-indexed with OCM
Subject Codes, searching with these codes is often much
more accurate than word searches.
OCM Subject Codes