The anthropology collection serves the needs of the faculty and students in the Anthropology Department, as well as other departments across campus, including Ethnic Studies and Museology.

Current areas of collecting

The anthropology collection includes material on human, social, cultural, political, economic, urban, linguistic, psychological, aesthetic, feminist and historical anthropology; ethnography (particularly of the Northwest coast, Pacific Rim, South America, Oceania and Europe); history of anthropological thought, social structure and kinship, religion and society, new world archaeology, communication and culture, gender relations, prehistory, mythology, social change and organization, ethnic groups, native peoples of Canada and the Northwest coast, contemporary social problems in Asia.

Special emphasis is on collecting materials related to ethnicity in B.C. and Canada; Indians of B.C., Northwest coast and Canada; Pacific Rim (especially South, Southeast and East Asia and Oceania); cross-cultural materials relating to immigrants, especially in North America

Research and publishing characteristics

Anthropology is a composite of three major areas: archaeology, sociocultural anthropology and anthropological linguistics. (A fourth area, physical or biological anthropology, is primarily located in the Woodward Library). Volume is medium and the average price is medium, with the exception of archaeological reports which are relatively high. Almost all types of material are essential – conference proceedings, governmental literature, ephemeral reports, journals, monographs, retrospective materials, foreign language material, film, video and photographs. In the areas of sociocultural anthropology and linguistic anthropology, monographs are as important as journals and there is less emphasis on rapid access to current research. Informal communication through conferences, colloquia and prepublication papers is prevalent. Unpublished field notes are a key source of information.


Encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other supportive reference materials are acquired extensively. Monographs and serials are both acquired extensively.


Predominantly in English with selected materials in the major European languages.

Geographic origin

World wide.

Collections in other UBC Libraries/ Areas of overlap

Asian Library: Vernacular materials from South, Southeast and East Asia.

Education Library: Educational aspects of multiculturalism and literacy.

Law Library: Indian land claims.

Woodward Library: Physical Anthropology, Human Evolution, non-human primates, Human and Population Genetics, Anthropometry and Osteometry.