Anthropology | Alexander Street


Alexander Street builds and curates comprehensive, multimedia resources for the study of anthropology, including the largest collection of ethnographic videos and previously unpublished archival field materials. Content is presented on a multimedia platform that reflects the integrated methods of field research, through linking and cross-searchability of text, audiovisual and archival primary sources. 

Resources work in tandem to bring the fieldwork process to life by juxtaposing original fieldwork with subsequent published ethnographies, as well as follow up studies and visual ethnographies that span a century.

Archive and Manuscript Collections

Anthropological Fieldwork Online

Alexander Street has partnered with archives and holding institutions around the world to bring the fieldwork underpinning the great ethnographies of the early 20th century into the digital world, available in the cross-searchable collection Anthropological Fieldwork OnlineLearn More


Printed Works Collections

Anthropology Online

Anthropology Online brings together a wide range of written ethnographies, seminal texts and contemporary studies, many of which are the final published works resulting from the research digitized in Anthropological Fieldwork Online.  Learn More


Video Collections

Ethnographic Video Online Series

Alexander Street is the most comprehensive resource for visual anthropology in the world, providing access to over 2,000 hours of film and always growing, from raw field footage to crafted ethnographies and documentaries. Available in any current model popular today for acquiring video, from single titles, to PDA, to curated collections, these offerings provide core visual materials for anthropology courses of all levels.   Learn More.

Documentary Educational Resources Collections

Documentary Educational Resources (DER) is the premier source for classic and contemporary ethnographic films, which explore modern cultural struggles and artistic traditions and offer a longitudinal view of changing communities, cultures and identities. DER films are essential to the undergraduate classroom, as they illustrate key concepts, promote critical thinking skills, and generate discussion in cross-disciplinary settings, including anthropology, cultural studies, indigenous studies, history, media and film studies. Learn More


Audio Collections

Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries

Access over 40,000 recordings from around the world, including field recordings and rare labels curated by Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries and the Smithsonian Folkways Label.  Learn More


Alexander Street brings unique functionality to this material. Deep indexing lets users search and browse by cultural group, place, subject, and ethnographer, optimizing visibility for all material. Users can also search video transcripts to locate specific cultural groups, rituals, traditions, or case studies and watch relevant material within seconds, or pour through thousands of pages of archival content to learn how anthropology’s biggest names did their work. For example, users can read Bronislaw Malinowski’s original field notebooks alongside his published ethnographies, and find follow-up studies and visual ethnographies from his Trobriand Islands field site created a century later.

Introducing the Anthropology Commons

In order to spur digitization initiatives and open publishing opportunities for archives, Alexander Street is contributing 10% of revenues from new purchases of our anthropology collections to an Open Archive fund, which will go toward building the Anthropology Commons, a repository of open primary sources critical to the study of anthropology and the history of the field. To kick-start this initiative, the Ruth Benedict Papers will be openly and freely available. Learn more.

Featured Collections

Anthropology Online

Anthropology Online brings together a wide range of published ethnographies, seminal texts, memoirs, contemporary...

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