Ethnographic Database Project

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The Ethnographic Database Project (EDP) is a web-based interface for the standardization of comparative ethnographic data. The EDP enables anthropologists to enter information about their field research using a set of standard codes developed for cross-cultural application; the codes relate to a society’s organization, kinship and marriage practices, subsistence economy, and pattern of sexual division of labor.

web-based questionnaire

The EDP is in the form of a web-based questionnaire, which can be accessed from any computer connected to the internet; it aims to complement widely-used comparative ethnographic datasets such as the Ethnographic Atlas and the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample by:

(i) obtaining data directly from anthropologists who conducted field research in the societies of interest,

(ii) using standard codes developed for cross-cultural application,

(iii) expanding the range of societies for which coded ethnographic data are available.

The first stage of the EDP includes societies speaking Indo-European languages, which are underrepresented in the existing ethnographic databases. Processing of the data collected so far will (hopefully!) start in the near very near future. For now, please visit the EDP website to read more about this project, to view a sample version of the EDP, and to find out how to contribute. Please forward this link to anyone who may be interested in this project!

Codes and contributors

   Codes included in the EDP
   Contributors to the EDP


Author: Laura Fortunato

Department of Anthropology
University College London
14 Taviton Street
London WC1H 0BW, UK
tel: +44 (0) 20 7679 5463
email: l.fortunato(a)
The Ethnographic Database Project