Background resources will introduce you to key concepts in anthropology and help you define your research topic. Below is a selection of what is available at the library.
To find more, go to the Summon search box and type in the relevant keywords (ex. handbook and race) and use the "books" filter on the left of the screen.
- Core concepts in cultural anthropology
- International Dictionary of Anthropologists
- The Routledge dictionary of anthropologists
- The Canadian Encyclopedia (use Google to search for Canadian Encyclopedia articles)
- Companion Encyclopedia of Anthropology
- Encyclopedia of Anthropology
- Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology
- Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology
- International encyclopedia of the social and behavioral sciences
Starting more broadly:
Start with the Summon search box to search across almost all of the databases the library subscribes to. Use the main keywords found within your research topic. As you retrieve results, use the Summon filters on the left of the screen to narrow or broaden your search.
Searching more specifically:
When you need to search by specific fields like methodology or geography, you should go directly to specialized databases such as the ones listed below.
Anthro Plus: Comprehensive international coverage in most branches of anthropology and archaeology, folklore, material culture and interdisciplinary studies.
AnthroSource: Full text access publications of the American Anthropological Association, including American Anthropologist, American Ethnologist, Cultural Anthropology, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, and others.
eHRAF World Cultures: (Human Relations Area Files) cross-cultural and ethnographic database containing descriptive information on cultures (based on the Outline of World Cultures -OWC) and ethnic groups from around the world.
Basic Search eHRAF World Cultures Tutorial on YouTube
Sage Research Methods: coverage spans the full range of research methods used in the social and behavioral sciences and resources to help with writing a research question, conducting a literature review, choosing a research method, collecting and analyzing data, and writing up the findings.
Ebsco databases: Databases available through the EBSCOhost interface. Multiple databases can be selected and searched simultaneously. Click on EBSCOhost Web.
JSTOR: Digital library of academic journals, books and primary sources.
Multidisciplinary databases with Canadian content:
For a more complete listing, see databases by subject webpage.
Provides access to educationally relevant new releases, foreign films, literary adaptations, documentaries, animated titles, and independent features.
Watch films produced by the National Film Board of Canada. Includes historical films dating back to 1928 to current contemporary releases, including award-winning documentaries, animation and fiction.
Kanopy is a streaming service that provides a platform for educational video products covering a wide range of subjects, from arts, humanities, health, business, education, and more.
Library DVD Collection
The library's video collection is housed in our Reserves room. Since the shelves are not browsable, it is best to do a catalogue search for the title of the movie you are looking for. You can then bring the title and call number to Reserves on the main floor of the library.
Is the film you're looking for not in our collection? Search Watmedia to locate videos at other Ontario universities. If you wish to borrow a video listed in Watmedia please fill out our Interfilm Video Request form - do not submit requests directly to Watmedia.
ArtStor Digital Library : provides access to 2.5+ million images of the world’s cultural heritage, all rights-cleared for use in education.
For more go to our listing of images databases.
Books on visual anthropology:
- An Anthropology of Images : Picture, Medium, Body
- Experimental film and anthropology
- Photography and anthropology
- Visual impact : culture and the meaning of images
Also consult our images "find" guide.
Start with a subject search in the library's Google Custom Government Information page and use the drop-down menu to select geography.
You can also search the following databases:
City of Ottawa:
International: (including content on Canada):
- IMF eLibrary (International Monetary Fund)
- OECD iLibrary (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development)
- UN iLibrary (United Nations)
- World Bank eLibrary
For more, look at the library's listing of government information databases.
The following are a few resources that may help you with your research projects:
Start with Sage Resarch Methods, a comprehensive database of resources on research methods in the social sciences which includes:
- the Little Blue Books series on qualitative research methods
- short videos by leading social scientists
- try the "project planner", a tool designed to guide you through your research project
- Creative teamwork: developing rapid, site-switching ethnography
- Doing Research in Cultural Studies
- Indigenous research : theories, practices, and relationships
- Methods that matter: integrating mixed methods for more effective social science research
- Mixed Methods Research: A Guide to the Field
- SAGE Visual Methods
- Visual methods in social research
- David Mills and Jane Dyson Discuss Ethnography
- Researching Multiracial Identity Using Ethnographic Methods
- What is Netnography?
- Ethics and anthropology: ideas and practice
- Ethics for graduate researchers : a cross-disciplinary approach
- Research ethics : a philosophical guide to the responsible conduct of research
- The student's guide to research ethics
Selected resources to get started:
- Avoid Plagiarism
- Citing Your Sources
- Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)
- Write a Book Review
- Writing the Research Paper Video
You can also:
Find out about skill development workshops on writing that are offered by the Centre for Student Academic Support.
Learn how to use citation management software.
Style Guide for the Preparation of Essays (Carleton University Department of Sociology and Anthropology)