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Guide to Resources in American Indian Studies

Guides to Resources in American Indian Studies


Location of Materials  | Call Numbers | Article & Journal Databases | Background Information: Dictionaries, Encyclopedias & Handbooks


Location of Materials

This guide refers primarily to sources located in the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library. All materials are shelved in the Reference Collection, unless otherwise noted.

The History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library includes extensive resources for American Indian Studies. For a more complete list of databases as well as links to several digitized collections see the American Indian Studies Library Resource Guide. Also see the Guide to Resources in Anthropology.



Call Numbers

Call numbers are groups of numbers and/or letters that classify library items by subject. Items are arranged on bookshelves by call number. The Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library (SSHEL) uses both the Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress classification systems.










016.97000497 Bibliographies Z1209-1210
299.7 Mythology and religion E98.R3
342.73 *constitutional law in the U.S. in general* Legal problems and issues KF4550.A7-.Z8
497-498 Language PM101-7356
709.7 Art (*pre-Columbian) E59.A7
810.8-811.08  Literature 810.8=PS508.I5; 811.08= PS591.I55
970.00497 History and comprehensive works throughout North America E75-99
973.00497-979.00497 History and comprehensive works, U.S. by region and state E78.A-Z (Native Americans by state, province or region) 



Article & Journal Databases 

Databases are structured sets of information, stored in print or online. Often, databases are online collections of journal article citations and full-text. Find articles about a specific topic by using keywords, subject headings, authors, and more.

Abstracts in Anthropology. (online)
International coverage of books, articles and conference papers in archaeology, ethnology, linguistics, and physical and cultural anthropology. Complements, rather than duplicates, other anthropological indexes. Includes references from journals not considered to be “anthropology” journals.

Academic Search Ultimate (online)
A database providing broad coverage on a wide variety of topics.

America: History and Life. (online)
This index abstracts articles on current American life and the history of the United States and Canada. Subjects covered include archaeology, ethnology, social processes and social groups, demography and population, education, and the arts. It is an excellent source for articles on Native American archaeology and ethnohistory.

Anthropology Plus. Quarterly. (online)
Combined access to the entire backfiles of Anthropological Index (1957-present, produced by The British Museum, Anthropological Index Online) and Anthropological Literature (19th century-present, produced by Harvard’s Tozzer Library). Identifies print materials in anthropology, archaeology, and related interdisciplinary research areas from almost 900 journals and monographic series. Coverage of the North American and British literature is nearly exhaustive and is good for core European and Latin American sources.

ATLA Religion. (online)
ATLA is the premier index to journal articles, book reviews, and collections of essays in all fields of religion, with coverage from 1949 and retrospective indexing for some journal issues as far back as the nineteenth century. Start here if you are looking for information about American Indian religious or spiritual practices.

Ethnic NewsWatch. (online)
Provides full text access for 200 newspapers and journals from ethnic, minority, and native press.

Human Relations Area Files (HRAF). (HPNL, Oak Street and online)
A specially organized collection of thousands of full-text sources on almost 400 cultures worldwide. HRAF can be useful for anyone looking for background information or specific data on a particular ethnic group, culture, or country, as well as for those investigating subjects like architecture, kinship, political structure, or settlement patterns on a comparative cross-cultural basis.

All HRAF installments published since 1995 are available only via eHRAF World Cultures, while most older installments are available only in print or microfiche. To check which cultures are covered by HRAF in what formats, and for more information on how to use HRAF or eHRAF World Cultures, see the online SSHEL “Guide to the Human Relations Area Files (HRAF).”

eHRAF Archaeology. (online)
Provides access to published literature on selected archaeological traditions worldwide, following the format and approach of eHRAF World Cultures.

JSTOR. (online)
Provides page images of back issues of core scholarly journals in the humanities, social sciences, and basic sciences from the earliest issues to within a few years of current publication. Users may browse by journal title or discipline, or may search the full-text or citations/abstracts of the articles. New issues of existing titles and new titles are added approximately on a weekly basis.

Background Information: Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, & Handbooks 

Background information can be found in online or print reference sources, such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks. Dictionaries contain brief definitions, usually only a sentence or two in length. Encyclopedias provide a more in-depth description, usually a few paragraphs in length. Handbooks contain descriptions that can be multiple pages and describe the development and future of a subject.


E93 .L43 2016
Historical Dictionary of Native American Movements. 2nd ed.  2016.
This dictionary contains over 200 cross-referenced entries on important Native American figures, as well as on aspects of language, religion, politics, and the environment. Contains a chronology of Native American movements in addition to an introductory essay that provides a framework for the entries that follow by tracing the history of Native Americans in the U.S. An extensive bibliography and an appendix of quotes from notable Native Americans is also included.


Q. E76.2 .J63 2014
Encyclopedia of Native Tribes of North America. 2nd ed. 2014.
The second edition of this one-volume reference work examines native tribes and cultures from Mexico to the Arctic. Entries are organized by cultural region, then divided by language family, and further separated into tribal designations. Illustrations, photographs, and maps are distributed throughout the work. A helpful introductory chapter and a classification of Indian languages precede the main text of the work. A chapter on the status of Indians today, a glossary of terms, native population tables, an extensive bibliography, and an index conclude the volume.

Encyclopedia of North American Indians. 1996. (online)
This encyclopedia includes detailed maps, pictures, and biographies, and focuses on tribes as well as historical and contemporary subjects. Each entry is signed and includes references. A general index and contributor index are provided and are both hyperlinked to entries in the encyclopedia.

Q. E77 .W84 2015
Encyclopedia of the American Indian in the Twentieth Century. 2015. (online)
Through the use of biographies and concise analyses of major events, organizations, and important topics, this book provides an overview of the history of the American Indian in the 20th century. Articles are cross-referenced throughout and most include a list of further readings. Includes a bibliography, an index, and lists of entries grouped by tribe, area of activity, and year of birth.

Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures. 2001. (online)
This encyclopedia includes more than 600 articles on Mesoamerican cultures. Time periods covered include the pre-Columbian, colonial, and post-colonial periods. The entries cover cultures such as the Olmec, Aztec, and Maya, and topics such as art, archaeology, religious studies, anthropology, history, and historiography.

UXL Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. 3rd ed. 2012.  (online)
This five volume resource is organized by region then by tribe alphabetically, and describes current and former tribes. Each entry gives information on the location, population, language, history, religion, government, economy, and culture of the tribe. Entries conclude with current tribal issues and a bibliography.


Indian Law Handbook. 2016. (online)
This resource published by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) is intended to help law enforcement students and officers navigate the jurisdictional and legal challenges unique to Indian Country.

Native American Almanac: More than 50,000 Years of the Cultures and Histories of Indigenous Peoples. 2016. (online)
With 358 entries, this almanac traces the heritage of indigenous people in the United States through biographies, pre- and post-contact history, current events, Tribal Nations histories, insights on environmental and land issues, treaties, and more.  Entries are divided geographically, with an initial section providing a historical overview of Indian-White relations in the United States. Appendices provide information on indigenous peoples in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Greenland, as well as lists of Native American museums, the indigenous ancestry of notable people, and definitions of terms.

The Routledge handbook of North American languages. 2019. (online)
This handbook covers the study of languages across the continent of North America. Various contributors, with varying interests and specialties, provide their expertise within the field of linguistics. The volume is separated in two specific parts: the first surveys commonly investigated phenomenon in North American languages and the second part inspects language families present on the continent. This handbook is targeted towards all audiences, providing concise and thoughtful analysis of research and contemporary linguistic theory.