Ethnographic Video Online: Volume II

Ethnographic Video Online: Volume II

This second volume of the award-winning Ethnographic Video Online collection expands Alexander Street’s anthropology offerings by adding 500 hours of classic and contemporary documentaries, field recordings, and previously unpublished footage from renowned anthropological archives such as the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI), as well as independent producers and distributors.

Global in scope, the collection features works from a roster of diverse international filmmakers and includes footage from every continent—from Melanesia to the Arctic Circle, Afghanistan to Zambia, Amsterdam to Zansker. Films explore hundreds of cultures, detailing economic structures, gender roles, family dynamics, spirituality, political formation, and music and the arts.

Building on the foundational content in the first volume, Ethnographic Video Online: Volume II introduces high-value archival material while also focusing on the state of the discipline today. Current issues such as environmental crises, refugee migration, and endangered languages are well documented, and every sub-discipline of anthropology will be represented, including cultural, linguistic, applied, social, visual, urban, medical, and physical anthropologies, as well as archaeology.

The collection includes contemporary films from partners such as ZED, the BBC, and RAI, as well as targeted content from Documentary Educational Resources and key archives including the Grenada Centre of Anthropology at the University of Manchester.

The database features works such as:

  • RAI’s six-part series from Central Television, Strangers Abroad, which documents the link between the “armchair anthropologist” and the modern field worker/scholar by presenting footage of the pioneering ethnographers who lived among the people they studied. Films in the series include Margaret Mead’s Coming of Age, Franz Boas’s The Shackles of Tradition, and Bronislaw Malinowski’s Off the Verandah.
  • The Asia Pacific Films collection, which provides strong representation of Oceania with films by Caroline Yacoe, Garin Nugroho, Uruphong Raksasad, Stephanie Castillo, Vilsoni Hereniko, U-Wei Haji Saari, and Xie Fei.
  • Additional RAI series developed for the UK’s National Geographic, Channel 4.
  • Forbidden Rites, a series produced for National Geographic that includes films on cannibalism, head hunting, and human sacrifice.
  • Internationally recognized films from ZED, including Becoming a Man, Master of the Spirits, and Lands of Legends.

Ethnographic Video Online: Volume II can be used as a standalone resource or seamlessly integrated with other Alexander Street anthropology collections—including the first volume of Ethnographic Video Online and Anthropology Online, a full-text companion collection. By completion, the two volumes of Ethnographic Video Online will deliver more than 1,200 hours of films, and Anthropology Online will include 100,000 pages of text—all accessible through a single cross-searchable interface.

Teaching Power

Alexander Street’s Semantic Indexing makes content searchable by geographical region, cultural or kinship group, anthropological subject, ethnographer, content type, and more, allowing for easy cross-cultural comparisons. Only Alexander Street’s ethnography collections allow for such detailed queries as:

  • What are the medical anthropology and biotechnology issues raised in Breeding Cells?
  • Find all documentaries about health care in remote villages.
  • Show all films that demonstrate archaeological stone work methods.
  • What titles feature ethnomusicology footage from the Middle East?
  • Find all films addressing use of the water supply in indigenous communities in South America.

Advanced features such as permanent URLs, synchronized transcripts, and clip-making tools allow users to easily share, cite, and annotate content. For the first time, video can be integrated into coursework and assignments as easily as text. The collection also features teaching guides, field notes, and filmmaker biographies.

Publication Details

Ethnographic Video Online: Volume II is an online collection available to academic, public, and school libraries worldwide via subscription or one-time purchase of perpetual rights.

No special setup or software is required—all you need is an Internet browser. Prices are scaled to institutional size and budget. To request a free trial or price quote, please email sales [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com.