Collections support the research and teaching programs in the Department of Anthropology. Founded in 1937, it started within the Peabody Museum of Natural History and the Institute of Human Relations. Historically, collecting emphasized physical anthropology, medical anthropology, and human evolution. Publications from the major anthropology museums, institutions, associations, and societies were collected. Current collecting emphasizes social-cultural, archaeological, and biological anthropology. Gender and linguistics are emphasized.

Departments/disciplines/programs/subject areas supported

The Anthropology Department offers an undergraduate degree with an optional concentration in one of four subfields: archaeology, biological anthropology, sociocultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology. The Ph.D. program also offers those those areas and joint degree programs with the African American Studies Department and the School the Environment.

Formats collected

Formats and materials acquired generally

  • Monographs (print and online)
  • Journals (online preferred)

Formats and materials collected selectively or by request

  •  Newsletters from anthropological societies, departments, and museums
  •  Videos/films are acquired by request of professors or through online databases

Formats and materials not collected

  • Ephemera
  • Instructor’s materials
  • Juvenile works
  • Preprints
  • Software manuals unrelated to specialized scientific software or applications

Languages collected

Materials are collected are in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish. Materials in other languages are collected by the area studies librarians.

Chronological and geographical focus

Specialties in archaeology include Mesoamerica and South America, the Near East, China, and Africa.  Areas well represented in sociocultural anthropology include East Asia (China and Japan), Southeast Asia, Latin America (including the Caribbean), Sub-Saharan Africa, Insular Pacific, and Afro-American cultures. 

Collaborations within Yale

  • Yale Film Archive, for films and videotapes for use in classroom instruction. 
  • Many manuscript collections (including Malinowski’s field notes) are available in Manuscripts and Archives.
  • Area studies librarians
  • Environmental Studies librarian

Subject Librarian

Rachel Sperling
Librarian for Environmental Studies
Marx Science and Social Science Library
(203) 436-5912