The history of Anthropology at Tulane goes back to 1924, when the Department of Middle American Research (now the Middle American Research Institute) was founded. A separate Department of Anthropology was established in 1967, and now includes 19 faculty, between 100 and 150 undergraduate majors, and approximately 60 graduate students.
The Department of Anthropology has four-field programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, offering BA, BS, MA and PhD degrees. Tulane anthropologists teach and conduct research in archaeology, cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, and linguistics, and offer expertise on a global scale, with geographical strenghths in Southeastern and Southwestern United States, all areas of Latin America, Africa, Europe, and East Asia.
Affiliated programs: Linguistics
Subject Resource Guide
Selection in anthropology strives to include all areas of anthropological research, with special emphasis in materials supporting the courses and research specialties of Tulane students and faculty. This includes publications relevant to all the major subdisciplines of anthropology, as well as area studies relevant to anthropological concerns.
- The Physical Anthropology General Collection: In addition to works on method and theory, there are emphases on forensic anthropology, biological anthropology, human evolution, human and primate adaptation, and variability, skeletal biology, paleoanthropology, paleopathology and human morphology. Primate studies focus on human and primate evolution, observational and research methods with non-human primates, primate behavior, ecology, and biology.
- The Archaeology General Collection: In addition to works about method and theory, there are emphases on Old World prehistory, North American prehistory, human origins, geoarchaeology, paleoecology, subsistence studies, settlement studies, zooarchaeology, and ceramic and lithic analyses.
- The Anthropological Linguistics Collection: Linguistics study in anthropology focuses on selected areas of linguistics scholarship including historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, structural linguistics, semantics, phonology, morphology, discourse analysis, and psycholinguistics. There is little emphasis on texts addressing single languages generally, but there is interest in African and Native American languages particularly. Texts addressing single languages or research or curricular interests of linguistics faculty outside the Anthropology Department are generally bought with book funds assigned to those departments. Texts more generally addressing anthropological linguistics or topics of more general interest to linguists in a number of departments are purchased with anthropology funds.
- The General Cultural Anthropology Collection: In addition to works relevant to method and theory, there are emphases on human ecology, ethnobotany, ethnohistory, ethnopsychology, folklore, and cultural dynamics. Ethnologies and ethnographies are collected, with some emphases on African and Asian cultures. However, no culture areas are excluded from the collection; thematic and methodological interests are considered as important as geographic area when choosing titles for inclusion in the collection.
Materials sought for the colletions include monographs, books in series, periodicals, bibliographic and other reference works, conference proceedings, museum publications, departmental publications, and site reports. Media, maps, anthologies, textbooks and dissertations are selectively sought, usually upon faculty recommendation. Collections of previously published material are acquired only if other access is problematic.
Monographs and other types are usually purchased in traditional print formats, but microformats are often acceptable as a substitute, particularly for large collections not otherwise available.
To broaden accessibility, journals are sought online when this format is available. Print copies may be cancelled if necessary to reduce costs, but only when ownership of the electronic version in contractually assured. Online access that requires additional costs with a print subscription will be sought selectively.
Audio and video formats are sought upon faculty request.
No languages are excluded. The collection is largely English. English is primarily sought, with substantial attention to publications in French, German, and Spanish.
Collection subject emphasis dates from the time of emergence of hominid forms, about five million years ago, to the present.
The majority of materials added to the collections will be materials published in the last 3-5 years, with an emphasis on the most current titles. Older materials will be added selectively, and out-of-print materials are generally added only to replace items lost or missing from the collections, unless specific requests have been made to fill gaps in the collections.
The study of anthropology assumes and requires global inclusiveness.
The Howard-Tilton Memorial Library is one of 14 members of a cooperative consortium of southern research libraries called KUDZU, which includes a shared online catalog. Loan requests through this system receive priority processing and expedited two-day delivery. The library is also a member of the cooperative Center for Research Libraries (CRL) in Chicago, through which we may borrow a wide range of rare materials for our users. Undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty may borrow materials directly from the main library nearby at Loyola University of New Orleans through a reciprocal agreement called TU/LU. Graduate students and faculty may borrow materials at other New Orleans area academic libraries, and at other academic libraries throughout the state, through the LALINC consortium. For more information about cooperative borrowing privileges inquire at the library's Check-Out Desk.
An approval plan supplying books and book notices exists with Yankee Book Peddler (YBP) for North American and British publications. Book notification plans are in place several foreign vendors, particularly in Europe. Materials are also acquired directly from individual publishers. Gift materials are added to the collections when appropriate.
At present, no endowed funds are available to augment the Anthropology collection development budget.
Materials are routinely selected by examining book notification slips from all of the above-mentioned approval plans, publishers catalogs, fliers, and other announcements. Also, book and journal reviews from the following list of journals are regularly consulted: Choice; American Anthropologist; American Ethnologist; American Journal of Archaeology; Language; Journal of Linguistic Anthropology.
Museum publications from a large variety of sources are consulted, including the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the American Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Institution, and the University of Pennsylvania Museums.
Individual faculty requests are also an important source of notification, and suggestions are welcome from all members of the Tulane community.