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Anthropology and Sociology Subject Guide

Welcome to the Anthropology and Sociology Subject Guide

In this guide you will find in-depth information about the Library collections which will support you in your studies or research of Anthropology and Sociology, as well as links to freely available web-sites which are recommended by your Subject Librarian.

Use the links on the left of the page to find information by category and on the right for related information.

More help

If you would like more information, either on the collections or information within this guide please contact the Subject Librarian for Anthropology and Sociology.

SOAS students and staff may attend Library training sessions or arrange an individual training session with the Subject Librarian. For more details, contact your Subject Librarian or see Training & Events page.

About the Anthropology and Sociology Collection

The Library develops and maintains significant collections on [social and cultural] anthropology and sociology relating to the countries of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The material is in European, Asian and African languages. Material on anthropology and sociology of areas outside Asia and Africa and general works are acquired where they are needed to support teaching or specific research. The collection contains works on history, theory and practice of anthropology and sociology, alongside specific works on the anthropology and sociology of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

  • The bulk of the Anthropological and Sociological Collection [classmarks A300-A307] can be found on Level E between stacks 7 and 16. Oversized books are shelved at the end of the collection at Level E, stacks 56 to 58. There is also a small collection of reference works on Level E, stacks 49
  • Journals – the Library has an extensive collection of journals in both print and electronic format. Please check the Library catalogue and eJournal and eBook Finder for more information.
  • Works focusing on a specific country or region are shelved in the respective regional collection. They will have a different letter code to indicate this.

Collection strengths

  • SOAS Library collects and maintains a research level social and cultural Anthropology collection that is amongst the most significant in the UK.
  • The depth of regional collecting means that some parts of our Anthropology collections are unique.
  • The Sociological aspects of the collection are maintained to support taught course students.
  • If you are interested, the Library’s Collection Development Policy is available online.

Special Collections

The Archives and Special Collections at SOAS Library is located on Level F and holds important collections of archives, manuscripts and other primary source materials relating to Anthropology.

Email: Tel: 0207 898 4180

Below are some of those collections, you can see the whole list on this leaflet: Archival Sources for Anthropology [PDF; 941kb]

  • Aylward, Gladys [MS 291571] China. Includes papers and artefacts relating foot binding
  • Caplan, Lionel [PP MS 77] India & Nepal. He was Professor of Anthropology at SOAS, 1965-2003.
  • Caplan, Patricia [MS 381062] India & Nepal, she was Professor of Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Earthy, Emily Dora [MS 380515] East Africa.
  • Fürer-Haimendorf, Christoph Von [PP MS 19] South Asia. An extensive archive [56 boxes, >20,000 photographs] cataloguing the working life of a pioneer in the field of visual anthropology. He was Professor of Anthropology at SOAS and 1951-1976 President of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 1975-77.Much of this archive has been digitsed and is available online at the Fürer-Haimendorf collection]
  • Perlman, Melvin Lee [PP MS 38] Uganda. Studies of Toro marriages and Tea estate workers.
  • Ray, Sidney Herbert [PP MS 3] Oceania. Ethnology and languages.
  • Whiteley, Wilfred Howell [PP MS 42] Africa. He was Head of Africa Department at SOAS, 1959-1972.