Purpose of Collection: The Anthropology collection at Carleton Library supports the research activities of faculty, students and staff and the instructional requirements of undergraduate and graduate programs. The collection reflects the interdisciplinary nature of Anthropology, and as such the collection provides support for teaching and research in related areas such as Indigenous Studies, Environmental Studies, Race and Ethnicity, Gender and Sexuality, and Political Economies.

For concrete examples of our collections in action, please visit our subject guide for Anthropology.

Academic Departments & Programs Supported:

Themes/Subject Coverage

  • Anthropological methods
  • Anthropological theory
  • Anthropology of art
  • Applied and participatory anthropology
  • Economic anthropology
  • Environmental anthropology
  • History of anthropology
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Interpretive anthropology
  • Kinship and household formation
  • Linguistic anthropology
  • Material culture
  • Medical anthropology
  • Phenomenological anthropology
  • Ritual studies
  • Symbolic anthropology
  • Visual anthropology

Other primary anthropological areas:

  • Colonialism and postcolonialism
  • Development and underdevelopment
  • Digital humanities
  • Gender
  • Globalization, culture and power
  • International diplomacy and business
  • Museums
  • Personhood
  • Political ecology
  • Performance studies
  • Space and place
  • Tourism

Selection Guidelines


Primarily current material is collected with earlier material acquired to fill in a series gap, replace an important work that is missing or damaged, or in response to faculty and student recommendations.


  • North America, especially Canada
  • Africa, particularly Sub-Saharan ethnography and Morocco
  • Asia, particularly South, East, and Southeast Asian ethnography, with comprehensive collection of Taiwan/Republic of China, Thailand, Tibet, and India
  • Latin America, particularly Brazil, Mesoamerican and Andean ethnography
  • Oceania, particularly Papua New Guinea and New Zealand (Maori Studies)
  • Circumpolar Regions, particularly Inuit ethnography
  • United States: focus on material of a comprehensive, theoretical, and analytical nature, with diverse ethnographic studies
  • Quality ethnographies from all areas of the world


  • English comprehensive coverage
  • significant French titles, particularly Canadian
  • selected primary source and key works in the original language, such as Spanish, as well as translations of these works.


Books, journals, ethnographies, reprints, collections, dissertations/theses, selected translations, documentary films, map


  • Popular accounts
  • Introductory textbooks
  • Prehistory
  • Physical Anthropology
  • Archaeology, unless directly related to living cultures

Additional Collection Information

Related Subject Profiles

Content last reviewed: