AnthroGuide History

The AnthroGuide has been the premiere information source for the study of anthropology since 1962 when the first directory of anthropology programs was published. The Executive Board issued a directive to publish a volume that would “assist students who want to go into the field, by providing such basic information as degrees offered; name, rank and specialties of the staff; basic strengths of the graduate programs, including number of courses offered in geographic areas and specialties; and where to write for catalogues and other information.” The directory totaled 50 pages, the size of a small pamphlet.

In 1963, the Executive Board directed a listing of PhD dissertations in anthropology to be published in The AAA Guide to Departments of Anthropology and in 1967 a listing of all AAA members was added (and subsequently dropped the following year), and the departmental program descriptions were expanded. The AAA Guide to Departments of Anthropology totaled 214 pages.

A grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research enabled The AAA Guide to Departments of Anthropology to expand again, in 1968-70. New sections included (1) listings of undergraduate programs offering a major or concentration in anthropology [prior to this The AAA Guide to Departments of Anthropology had only listed graduate programs], (2) a table summarizing which institutions gave how many degrees, (3) dates of highest degrees of individuals listed in The AAA Guide to Departments of Anthropology, with names of institutions giving them and (4) museums with anthropology programs. In 1970,The AAA Guide to Departments of Anthropology numbered 266 pages.

In 1974, a new section was added to The AAA Guide to Departments of Anthropology, listing research and nonacademic departments. The AAA Guide to Departments of Anthropology expanded gradually from 1974 to 1989, but its basic structure and arrangement of information remained the same.

In 1989,The AAA Guide to Departments of Anthropology underwent a major transformation. New sections, listing the names and addresses of all AAA members and the names of members in the AAA sections were added to The AAA Guide to Departments of Anthropology. To accommodate the new information, a change in format was necessary, and The AAA Guide to Departments of Anthropology grew from 6″ x 9″ to 8-1/2″ x 11″. It also changed names–from The AAA Guide to Departments of Anthropology to The AAA Guide (subtitle: “A Guide to Departments/A Directory of Members”) and contained 485 pages.

In 2000, The AAA Guide underwent a major transformation to the web. For the first time, listers were able to submit and edit their listings electronically and receive an invoice immediately. This also facilitated the creation of the AAA eGuide, our first electronically searchable database. Also in 2000, community colleges were encouraged to list their institutions’ contact information in the AAA Guide at no cost. Complete community college information was made available in the AAA eGuide. The 2000-2001 AAA Guide contained 682 pages.

In 2010, The AAA Guide was renamed AnthroGuide. The pages were redesigned in a refined double-column format, with a new type face and different fonts to improve legibility. Full-bleed divider pages were inserted, to allow the reader to bend the edge of the book and locate the different sections easily. Running heads were added, and new covers were designed to improve the appearance of the book. The volume contained 695 pages.

In 2011, the AnthroGuide underwent another transformation. Software was custom designed to improve data collection from academic institutions, museums, Federal agencies, nonprofit organizations and industry and resource firms. The online AnthroGuide now contains improved search functionality and reporting.

AAA appreciates the support and many excellent suggestions made by members over the years. The Association will continue to improve the AnthroGuide, with the hope that it will continue to be a source of information that anthropologists can consult with confidence–with the knowledge that if you need to know, “it’s in the AnthroGuide.”

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