The study of the origin, development and nature of the human species through biological, sociocultural, archaeological and linguistic perspectives.
Physical or biological anthropology traces the biological origins, evolutionary development and genetic diversity of humans and other primates. Subdisciplines include osteology, primate paleobiology, and paleopathology. Cultural anthropology uses ethnographic methodology to study activities and beliefs of peoples within particular cultures or societies. Linguistic anthropology studies the history, evolution and internal structure of human languages. Medical anthropology uses a variety of anthropological techniques to investigate ways in which cultures define, experience, and manage health and illness; it includes subdisciplines such as ethnomedicine.
NLM comprehensively collects physical, biological and medical anthropology. The Library is interested in medical belief systems (e.g., medical astrology) and healing modalities (e.g., herbalism) from all cultures. NLM collects cultural and linguistic anthropology research related to health and medicine, such as studies of practices surrounding birth, death, and diet, and the relationship between language and cognition. The Library does not collect works on archaeology.