Skip to main content


This guide is intended to serve anthropology students - grad students, majors, minors, and those taking gen ed classes - in helping to locate important library resources.

Social Sciences Librarian

Heidi Johnson

About this Guide

This guided is intended to help you with your library research. You will find databases, journals, ebooks, reference books, and selected datasets to help with your literature review, or provide background information on important anthropological subject areas.

What is Anthropology?

Asking the question "What is anthropology?" can help you to think about the meaning and the importance of the work that you do, regardless of your level.

Here is a definition (excerpted) from the American Anthropological Association website:

"Anthropology is the study of what makes us human. Anthropologists take a broad approach to understanding the many different aspects of the human experience, which we call holism. They consider the past, through archaeology, to see how human groups lived hundreds or thousands of years ago and what was important to them. They consider what makes up our biological bodies and genetics, as well as our bones, diet, and health. Anthropologists also compare humans with other animals (most often, other primates like monkeys and chimpanzees) to see what we have in common with them and what makes us unique.[...] Anthropologists also try to understand how people interact in social relationships (for example with families and friends). [...] Many anthropologists work in their own societies looking at economics, health, education, law, and policy (to name just a few topics). When trying to understand these complex issues, they keep in mind what they know about biology, culture, types of communication, and how humans lived in the past."

Best Bets

Here are some good places to start your research.

© University of Nevada Las Vegas