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Sep 29 2021 - 04:30 PM
Library Resources and Services for ITSF 5001, Advanced Ethnographic Methods

This research guide is intended as an overview of library resources and services of particular relevance for students Professor Nicholas Limerick's Fall 2021 course ITSF 5001, Advanced Ethnographic Methods. The resources, primarily electronic and accessible on and off campus, have been selected as ones that support the aims of the course: to "a) build on students’ previous knowledge about or experience doing qualitative research, b) cover how to store, transcribe, analyze, and portray ethnographic data, c) consider how to write about people while shifting away from anthropology’s colonial history. and d) achieve an above average draft of an article length paper." The guide also includes a section describing research consultation and assistance services and options for document retrieval and delivery available to all members of the Teachers College community.

Resources designated (CU) are accessible online through Columbia University Libraries.

Library Resources

Discovery Tools/Federated Search Engines

Educat+ (via Gottesman Libraries) - To search the library's holdings of books and media, journal articles, curricula, children's literature, course reserves materials, and more, simultaneously and seamlessly.

CLIO Quicksearch (via Columbia University Libraries) - To search the catalog, multiple periodical indexes, and other web resources simultaneously within a variety of subjects and disciplinary subcategories.

Google Scholar - Provides the means to search for scholarly research across many disciplines and sources:  articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities, and other web sites.

Periodical Indexes

Anthropology/Sociology Databases

Anthropology Online (CU) - "Brings together a wide range of written ethnographies, field notes, seminal texts, memoirs, and contemporary studies, covering human behavior the world over. Essential for study in the areas of politics, economics, history, psychology, environmental studies, religion, area studies, linguistics, and geography, the database will contain more than over 100,000 pages of full-text material at completion, including tens of thousands of pages of previously unpublished material from major archives."

Anthropology Plus (CU) - Provides worldwide indexing of journal articles, reports, commentaries, and edited works in the fields of social, cultural, physical, biological, and linguistic anthropology, ethnology, archaeology, folklore, material culture, and interdisciplinary studies.

AnthroSource (CU) - Covers current issues of the American Anthropology Association's journals and bulletins, as well as archived issues of all of the AAA' s journals, newsletters, and bulletins.

SocINDEX with Full Text (CU) - Offers comprehensive coverage of sociology, encompassing all sub-disciplines and closely related areas of study. The database contains full text for more than 860 journals dating back to 1908, more than 830 books and monographs, and over 16,800 conference papers.

Sociological Abstracts (CU) - Abstracts and indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences, covering such major areas as culture and social structure, family and social welfare, history and theory of sociology, radical sociology, rural and urban sociology, and the sociology of the arts, business, and education.

Social Science Databases

International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (CU) - A valuable online resource for social science and interdisciplinary research, IBSS includes over two million bibliographic references to journal articles and to books, reviews and selected chapters dating back to 1951, providing broad coverage of international material and incorporating over 100 languages and countries.

Social Sciences Full Text (CU) - Provides coverage of English-language journals across social science disciplines, with indexing from 1983, abstracting from 1984, and select access to full text from 1984 to the present.

Education Databases

ERIC - Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education to provide extensive access to educational-related periodical literature, ERIC (which stands for Educational Resources Information Center) provides coverage of conferences, meetings, government documents, theses, dissertations, reports, audiovisual media, bibliographies, directories, books, and monographs. In addition to this version, made available via the ProQuest platform, also accessible via the U.S. government ERIC site and through Ebsco ERIC.

Education Full Text - Provides comprehensive coverage of an international range of English-language periodicals, monographs, and yearbooks. Indexing coverage begins June 1983; abstracts are included beginning spring 1994; full text of some journals is available beginning in January 1996.

Education Index Retrospective - Provides cover-to-cover indexing for an international range of English-language periodicals and yearbooks; coverage from 1929 through mid-1983.

Education Research Complete - Provides indexing and abstracts for more than 2,100 journals, as well as full text for more than 1,200 journals, and includes full text for nearly 500 books and monographs.

Professional Development Collection - Designed for professional educators, this database provides a highly specialized collection of nearly 520 high-quality education journals, including more than 350 peer-reviewed titles. The database also contains more than 200 educational reports.

Multidisciplinary Databases

Academic Search Premier - A multidisciplinary database providing full text for more than 4,600 journals, including nearly 3,900 peer-reviewed titles. PDF backfiles to 1975 or further are available for well over one hundred journals. See also Academic Search Complete, a scholarly, multidisciplinary full-text database, with more than 8,500 full-text periodicals, including more than 7,300 peer-reviewed journals. The database features PDF content going back as far as 1887.

JSTOR - An online archive of over 1,200 leading scholarly journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as select monographs and other materials valuable for academic work. Journals are always included from volume 1, issue 1 and coverage extends to previous and related journal titles. New issues of existing titles and new titles are added on an ongoing basis.

ProQuest - Provides broad multidisciplinary coverage of scholarly journals, newspapers, dissertations, and other types of publications; for international coverage and access to full texts of dissertations only, search ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global, a subset of ProQuest.

Online Catalogs

The most definitive record of the holdings of the Gottesman Libraries at Teachers College (formerly accessible through our online catalog EDUCAT), including books, e-books, journals, e-journals, dissertations, media, and other specialized collections of all kinds, is to be found through a search of the library's new discovery system Educat+ (see Discovery Tools/Federated Search Engines above).

CLIO Catalog - The union catalog of Columbia University Libraries (exclusive of the libraries of Teachers College, the Columbia Law School, and Jewish Theological Seminary), providing the most definitive record of individual libraries' holdings of books, e-books, journals, e-journals, dissertations, media, and other specialized collections of all kinds.

WorldCat - The union catalog of the contents of over 10,000 libraries worldwide, providing the means to do exhaustive searching by author, title, subject, and numerous other criteria and to find locations for specific items in libraries nearby and elsewhere. WorldCat is also freely accessible on the Web at

Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) are the official subject terms prescribed by the Library of Congress for the cataloging of books and are in use in essentially all academic libraries. To find works pertaining to ethnography, ethnographic methods, and related subjects, it may be useful to use some of the subject terms, or combinations of terms, listed below when searching the online catalogs of libraries at Teachers College, Columbia University, and other institutions.

  • Ethnology [GN301-GN674]
  • Ethnology -- Authorship
  • Ethnology -- Fieldwork
  • Ethnology -- Methodology
  • Ethnology -- Philosophy
  • Ethnology -- Research

Related terms:

  • Academic writing
  • Children -- Language [LB1139.L3]
  • Children -- Social conditions
  • Communication -- Methodology
  • Communication in ethnology
  • Culture -- Research
  • Culture -- Study and teaching
  • Developmental psychology [BF712-BF724.85]
  • Discourse analysis [P302-P302.87]
  • Ethnologists [GN20-GN21]
  • Intercultural communication [GN345.6 (Anthropology)], [HM1211 (Social psychology)], [P94.6-P94.65 (General)]
  • Knowledge, Sociology of [BD175 (Epistemology)], [HM651 (Sociology)]
  • Perspective (Linguistics)
  • Pragmatics [B831.5 (Philosophy)], [P99.4.P72 (Linguistics)]
  • Social epistemology [BD175-BD175.5]
  • Social sciences -- Fieldwork
  • Speech acts (Linguistics)

For an overview of the call number system used in our library and many other academic libraries, see the Library of Congress Classification Outline page


Print Resources

Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology (4 volumes, 1996)


Encyclopedia of World Cultures (CU) - "This [1996] reference set lists and describes more than 1,500 global cultures. Based on research of social scientists, it is the source for historical, social, political, economic, linguistic, religious, and other information on virtually every existing culture."

International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (CU) - The 2nd (2010) edition "Covers scholarship and fields that have emerged and matured since the publication of the original international edition. Highlights the expanding influence of economics in social science research and features new articles and biographies contributed by scholars from around the world on a wide array of global topics in the social sciences."

Routledge Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology (CU) - This second (2008) edition of the encyclopedia "provides a unique guide to the ideas, arguments and history of the discipline, combining anthropological theory and ethnography."

Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology: An Encyclopedia (CU) - Published in 2013, this resource includes an entry on the ethnography of speaking, along with other articles on linguistic anthropology and related topics.


Alexander Street Press Databases (CU) - Themed collections of print documents, video, and recorded sound across disciplines; notable databases include Alexander Street Literature (cross-searchable collections covering the literatures of place, race, and gender), Caribbean Literature (a collection of poetry and fiction produced in the Caribbean during the 19th and 20th centuries), Alexander Street Anthropology Collections (intended to offer "comprehensive, multimedia resources for the study of anthropology, including the largest collection of ethnographic videos and previously unpublished archival field materials") , and North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories (personal views of what it meant to immigrate to the United States and Canada between 1880 and 1950).

Ebook Central - Online books across a range of subject areas; searchable, under Browse Subjects, by Education, Language/Linguistics, Social Science, etc. and various sub-topics, and by author, title, and other criteria.

Oxford Scholarship Online (CU) - Provides the full text of classic and newly published Oxford University Press books in linguistics, literature, neuroscience, psychology, and other disciplines.

SAGE Knowledge (CU) - "A database of ebooks and reference books published by SAGE covering the social sciences and education, including such areas as African American Studies, Aged & Gerontology, Anthropology, Communication and Media Studies, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Economics, Education, Gender & Sexuality Studies, History, Politics, Psychology, Social Issues, Social Work & Social Policy, and Sociology."

Handbooks of Research

Handbook of Critical and Indigenous Methodologies (CU) - "The nine chapters in Part I argue that decolonizing inquiry involves the performance of counterhegemonic theories that disrupt the colonial and the postcolonial. The five chapters in Part II examine particular indigenous interpretive pedagogies, those associated with Hawaiian, Native American, borderland-Mestizaje, endarkened, and Islamic epistemologies. The five chapters in Part III examine indigenous inquiry practices. The eight chapters in Part IV anchor indigenous interpretive pedagogies and practices in the discourses surrounding democracy, power, truth, ethics, and social justice."

The Handbook of Ethical Research with Ethnocultural Populations and Communities (CU) - This 2008 volume "provides revisions to mainstream thinking about research design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation of results to assure culturally meaningful and ethically sound outcomes. Included are discussions regarding gaining access and earning credibility, weighing the value of a selective sampling instead of a randomized sampling procedure, defining incentives in a collectivistic culture, obtaining valid informed consent, selection of instruments with relevant norms, assuring translation/conceptual/ metric equivalence, and interpreting data within the proper cultural context."

Handbook of Ethnography (CU) - The chapters in this 2001 collection are " intended to provide the reader with a tour d'horizon of ethnographic methods and ethnographic research in the social sciences."

Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology (CU) - The second (2015) edition of this work "reflects major developments of the past decade, including: the rising prominence of mixed methods, the emergence of new technologies, and evolving views on ethnographic writing. Spanning the chain of research, from designing a project through methods of data collection and interpretive analysis, the Handbook features new chapters on ethnography of online communities, social survey research, and network and geospatial analysis. Considered discussion of ethics, epistemology, and the presentation of research results to diverse audiences."

The SAGE Handbook of Applied Social Research Methods - This second (2009) edition of the work intends to provide "students and researchers with the most comprehensive resource covering core methods, research designs, and data collection, management, and analysis issues."

The SAGE Handbook of Social Anthropology (CU) - "Divided into four sections, each edited by leading figures in social anthropology," this 2012 handbook "covers interfaces, places, methodologies and futures. Within each section authors at the leading edge of the discipline contribute in-depth chapters on the central principles and latest developments in their area of expertise."

Wiley Online Library (CU) - Provides full text access to journals, reference works, books, and databases published by Wiley in numerous disciplines; notable handbooks include The Handbook of Applied Linguistics, The Handbook of Discourse Analysis, The Handbook of Educational Linguistics, The Handbook of Linguistics, The Handbook of Sociolinguistics, and many others.

Reviews of Literature

Annual Reviews (CU) - Reviews of topics in numerous disciplines published as annual journals; see series for Anthropology, Linguistics, Sociology, and others.

Review of Educational Research - A publication of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the RER publishes quarterly critical, integrative reviews of research literature bearing on education, including conceptualizations, interpretations, and syntheses of scholarly work.

Review of Research in Education - A publication of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the RRE provides an annual overview and descriptive analysis of selected topics of relevant research literature through critical and synthesizing essays.

Citation Indexes

Scopus (CU) - Abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature and quality web sources with smart tools to track, analyze, and visualize research.

Web of Science (CU) - Comprising the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, the Social Sciences Citation Index, and the Science Citation Index Expanded, this database supports searching by topic, author, or publication name, and is also a major means for doing cited reference searching, to find articles that cite a person's work.

Google Scholar - Provides the means to search by author or publication title, and indicates and provides links to works that have cited the documents retrieved.

Digital Archives

Academic Commons - Columbia University's online repository, where current faculty, students, and staff can deposit the results of their scholarly work and research.

Internet Archive - A non-profit digital library offering free universal access to books, movies, and music, as well as 150 billion archived web pages.

PocketKnowledge - The social archive of Teachers College, including unpublished manuscripts and archives from the library's collections, documents from other departments and administrative offices College-wide, and the work of TC students, faculty, and researchers.

Bibliography and Citation Management Programs

Citation Management Software - An extensive description of and guide to the use of Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote, courtesy of Columbia University Libraries.

Library Services

Ask a Librarian - Explore a variety of kinds of research support: submit an email reference query to librarians; request a research consultation with a Gottesman librarian; review frequently asked questions via the library's Knowledge Database.

Course Reserves - E-Reserves provides online access to digital course readings, including e-journal articles and book chapters, as well as call numbers for physical course reserves materials (books, DVDs, videos, etc.). More information about E-Reserves and physical Course Reserves can be found on the Course Reserves page.

Requesting New Materials - Teachers College students, faculty, and staff may use the materials request form to request library materials not owned by Gottesman Libraries, or the Columbia Morningside Campus Libraries.

Workshops - The Gottesman Libraries' education program offers a calendar of workshops on citation management, research techniques, and academic writing processes. Visit the Events page on the library’s website to learn about and RSVP to upcoming workshops.