Physical Format and Indexing of the HRAF Microfiche Files


Microfiche sheets, which hold up to 60 individual file pages, were used by HRAF from 1984 through 1994. Microfiche sheets contain "flashers" -- eye-readable OCM category numbers which indicate the beginning of each new category.

picture of microfiche HRAF file

HRAF Indexing of Individual Pages

As shown in the illustration below, the HRAF indexers labeled the top of each page in the file with the source number, author’s last name, a code for the level of training of the author followed by a numerical rating of the source, the date of the field work, the date of the work’s publication, the name of the culture and the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) Code.  Along the right or left side of each page, indexers wrote Outline of Cultural Materials (OCM) Codes as shown below.

picture of paper HRAF file





OCM Codes

Keys to Author Training Codes

Source Evaluation Codes (A rating of the quality of the data).

Outline of World Cultures Geographical Regions

(*Note:  Muslim societies in Africa are classified as being in the Middle East.) 

For the complete alphanumeric regional list of the cultures, see the Outline of World Cultures. You might also want to consult the Atlas of World Cultures. For a complete list of the ethnographic files that HRAF has completed — whether in microfiche or in their digital eHRAF collection, see this printable Adobe PDF version of HRAF’s Complete Collection List through 2008.

Send comments and suggestions about this page to: Corryn Crosby-Muilenburg
Last updated: April 27, 2009

Corryn's Homepage
Return to Corryn's Homepage