Monthly Archives: March 2010

eHRAF perhaps?

ehrafaLogoFounded in 1949 at Yale University, Human Relations Area Files (HRAF) provide information that facilitates the cross-cultural study of human behavior, society, and culture. There are two collections available at Columbia:

eHRAF Archaeology  provides access to books, journal articles, and dissertations on archaeological traditions from around the world.

eHRAF Ethnography provides primary source materials on ca. 400 different cultural, ethnic, religious, and national groups in Asia, Europe, Africa, Middle East, North America, Oceania, Eurasia, and South America.

Taking a Quant course and looking for data?

Columbia is a member of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).  ICPSR maintains a data archive of more than 7,000 data studies suitable for use with statistical software.   A wide range of social science topics are covered including: political science, sociology, demography, economics, history, gerontology, criminal justice, public health, foreign policy, terrorism, health and medical care, education, racial and ethnic minorities, psychology, law, substance abuse and mental health, and more.

Studies (and the data files and documentation they contain) can be retrieved by searching for words in:

  • the title and abstract with the ability to filter results by subject, geography, time period, author, and more (this is the search default);
  • a variables database that lists the individual elements within a study (currently cover about 20% of the studies in the archive);
  • the Bibliography of Data-Related Literature, database of describing published articles on research based on a study in the ICPSR collection.

The ICPSR data search options are listed on page

For assistance in finding data from ICPSR or other sources, visit the

Spotlight on: American FactFinder


affNeed a place to start when looking for Census data?  American FactFinder ( is an online data source for population, housing, economy and geography from the following data programs: 

  • Decennial Census
  • American Community Survey
  • Current Population Estimates
  • Economic Census
  • Annual Economic Surveys

American FactFinder is your source for population, housing, economic and geographic data for the United States!  Can’t find what you need?  Contact the librarian:

Economic Census Information at Columbia

Looking for information from the Economic Census?  Taken by the U.S. Census Bureau every five years, the Economic Census provides a detailed statistical profile of a large segment of the national economy.  You can find information directly at the U.S. Economic Census website, or you can view a table of economic census holdings here at Columbia University Libraries.

2010 Census – Be Sure You Are Counted

The Decennial Census is a once a decade count of everyone in the U.S. and the 2010 Census is about to get underway. Before the end of March the post office will be delivering a Census form to every household in the U.S.  Students living away from home are counted where they reside while at school and not at their parents’ home.  Watch your mailbox because, if you are living off-campus,  the form should arrive by April 1.  For those living in dorms, the forms will be delivered between April 1 and May 15th.


10 Questions in 10 Minutes
That describes the Census form.
Who Gets Counted?  Everyone!
Citizens and non-Citizens
What Do You Need to Do?
Complete the form and mail it back.

    2010 Census
Picture 2

Academic researchers and students are heavy users of the socio-demographic profiles that are produced by the government and based on the Census count.  An accurate count, which someday might be useful to your research, depends on your participation.

If you have questions about your participation, the form, or the importance of the Census, the answers are at the Census Bureau’s 2010 Census web site, 


Radio Interferometry?!

"Radio Interferometry? What the heck is that? Actually, I think that I can deduce the basics from the context of that article on defense systems, but I need some more info — maybe some other articles which focus on the RI’s themselves. But where?"


Luckily, the U.S. Defense Technical Information Center has a database of full text public technical reports. If you need to know about the hardware side of national defense, it’s the place to go.