The collection on the Unithèque site is aimed at teaching and research needs in cultural and social anthropology at UNIL. It provides access to core texts on Western anthropology and the main issues in contemporary anthropology.

The Riponne site houses an anthropology collection aimed at the general public.

The anthropology collection comprises:

  • Introductory works about the discipline
  • methodology and epistemology textbooks
  • texts by the key authors in Western anthropology
  • studies linked to the main research areas at UNIL, in particular in the Institute of Social Sciences, which focus on the study of contemporary societies from a comparative and critical perspective

You have access to our physical resources (printed books, journals and documentary DVDs), via the Renouvaud catalogue. Documents can be read in the library or borrowed.

The open shelves collection contains:

  • over 7,500 works classified under the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) system, by topic (e.g.: legal anthropology, political anthropology, anthropology of health, anthropology of the family, visual anthropology and anthropology of heritage) and by geographical area or country (e.g.: anthropology of the Middle East, anthropology of China)
  • an extensive collection of ethnographic films (DVD), arranged by country, topic or director, at the end of the book collection. Portable DVD players are available at the loans desk for viewing DVDs.

Less popular works are stored in the stacks and need to be ordered from the Renouvaud catalogue.

UNIL theses on anthropology can be accessed via the Renouvaud catalogue and borrowed from the loan desk.

Dissertations on anthropology are kept by the Manuscripts Department and can be used in the library. The catalogue of UNIL dissertations provides access to the list of dissertations examined since 1949.

Our digital resources (journals, digital books and databases) are accessible via the Renouvaud catalogue to all users, from the public computers in the library or remotely, for members of UNIL, by logging in to Crypto.

Main anthropology database: Anthrosource (Wiley)

The Pierre and Micheline Centlivres collection

Ethnologists Pierre and Micheline Centlivres, both specialists in Afghanistan and Iran, donated their personal archives of work to the library in 2007, along with their sizeable research library and collection of pious and popular images from the Middle East.

Our stacks house over 3,000 books on Islam , ethnology, Afghanistan and exploratory trips to Asia.

The Manuscripts Department holds the two ethnologists’ field diaries, their correspondence, press files, symposium papers, university lectures and family archives.

The Iconopôle has geographical maps of the Middle East, collections of postcards on various topics (universal exhibitions, World War I, 1st April and Afghan postcards from after the war), as well as a rare collection of pious and popular images from the Middle East, which is available to researchers and publishers for exhibition or publication projects.

A large collection of photographs from their travels and ethnographic field studies in the Middle East, covering a period of over 40 years, is housed at the Musée de l’Elysée and complements our collection. It also supplements the extensive collection of photographs of Asia from the Ella Maillart, Nicolas Bouvier, Jacot-Guillermot and Lehnert and Landrock collections held by the museum.