Skip to Main Content

Today's hours:

See all library hours »

  • Ask a Librarian
  • FAQ


Recommended resources for getting started with Anthropology research


This guide presents a selection of resources to help you get started with your anthropology research. Use the left side menu to navigate through the different sections of this guide. 

If you would like assistance locating resources, developing your topic, or have other questions (big or small), please email or schedule a consultation

Begin with Library Search to explore the resources available to you through Vassar. 


Keyword and subject heading searching are both useful approaches to locating relevant sources. You may find that using a combination of keywords and subject headings brings you the most success. 

  • keywords - words that describe the main concepts of your research 
    • for exp. ecosystem anthropoceneafrican american foodwayszora neale hurston folklore
  • subject headings - controlled vocabulary that describe a topic and subtopic in a standardized, consistent way

Library of Congress (LC) subject heading classifications are most commonly used, however article databases, such a JSTOR, may use their own subject headings. Find subject headings by viewing the full details of the source, use the database's subject list/ thesaurus if available, or look to filter your search results by subject. 

For more search terms, click on the different topics at the top of this box. The topic pages borrow from MIT's Anthropology & archaeology: Subfields guide

Selected Search Terms: 
  • practicing anthropology

The following areas would fall under this field and might also be good general terms to search:

  • environmental anthropology
  • feminist anthropology
  • urban anthropology
  • legal anthropology
  • political anthropology
Additional Resources

National Association of the Practice of Anthropology

Selected Search Terms:
  • palaeoanthropology
  • palaeontology
  • archaeobiology
  • ​repatriation
  • paleobotany
Additional Resources

Archaeology Institute of America
eHRAF Archaeology

Selected Search terms:
  • folklore
  • ethnology
  • foodways
  • sociocultural anthropology
Additional Resources:

The Folklore Wiki (American Folklore Society)

Food Studies Bibliography (Association for the Study of Food and Society)

Center for World Indigenous Studies

Selected Search Terms: 
  • sociolinguistics
  • ethnolinguistics
  • descriptive linguistics
  • historical linguistics
    anthropological linguistics
Additional Resources:

"Linguistic Anthropology" by Alessandro Duranti in International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2001)

Selected Search Terms:
  • public health/global public health
  • paleopathology
  • ​biocultural anthropology
  • epidemics
  • ethnomedicine
  • ​cultural ecology
Additional Resources:

Medical Anthropology Resource Centre