eHRAF World Cultures (Human Relations Area Files)

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Alternate title

Human Relations Area Files


eHRAF WORLD CULTURES is a systematically organized collection of thousands of books and articles on cultures from all regions of the world. eHRAF WORLD CULTURES may be used to find information on particular cultures, ethnic groups, or immigrant groups, and it may be used to find information on beliefs, superstitions, or subjects such as political structure, architecture, kinship units, or settlement patterns. By using this collection you will find information on many topics in one or many of the cultures included.

Two thesauri organize the collections. These thesauri are the OUTLINE OF WORLD CULTURES (OWC) and the OUTLINE OF CULTURAL MATERIALS (OCM). The thesaurus is a vocabulary ordered by regions and subregions of over 2,200 cultures around the world. HRAF uses the OWC thesaurus as the universe from which HRAF selects cultures to include in the eHRAF WORLD CULTURES collection. The OCM is a subject thesaurus with nearly 800 entries and over 10,000 index entries. Every paragraph in every document in the eHRAF Collection is indexed with OCM subjects.

Using the indexing, especially the subject indexing, increases the accuracy of results. That is because index terms are more precise and unambiguous than ordinary language. In addition, the use of index terms eliminates the problems of poor wording, misspellings, and languages other than English."

Updating frequency

Annual update. Contains approximately 40,000 new pages. Approximately 25% of each annual installment is new material; the remainder of the material is converted from the microfiche collection. The second type of update is an update of material for a given culture collection after it becomes part of eHRAF.


Books and articles from across the world about cultures.

Producer/content provider

Human Relations Area Files, Inc. (HRAF)

Core Subject(s)