Using the Directory

The cultural resource library entries in the Directory include as much relevant information about collections as possible, however a single library may contain over a million resources. Wherever possible, entry descriptions include information that will help identify available materials by keyword search. However, it is recommended that the Directory’s advanced search categories be used to narrow down likely repositories for target materials, and to then use more specific search terms within library databases themselves or by contacting a library for more information.

A search for entries in the Directory can be limited by the geographic areas from which materials derive, or by the location of the library in which they are held.  Subject categories and material formats may also help to limit search results.

When searching outside databases and library catalogs, a number of additional criteria may be used. For keyword searches, more results may be available if common spelling variations are used for non-English words. For example Navajo, Navaho. In many cases, tribes and cultural groups have also been historically referred to by multiple names or labels, for example, the broader groupings of Costanoan or Ohlone applied generally to more specific groups, such as Rumsen/Rumsien or Amah-Mutsun.

It can be helpful to search by the name of a particular researcher, agent, or agency if they are known to have documented information about the culture or persons of interest.

For each library entry, there are also features that allow users to help keep the Directory up to date, and to enable us to remove links to any resource libraries or descriptions that contain inappropriate content. We rely on these user contributions, and have made these features as easily accessible as possible on the page for each entry.