As many readers will know, The Midden is the newsletter and journal of the Archaeological Society of B.C. The ASBC has fallen on some hard times in recent years with the Nanaimo Branch and the Vancouver Executive Branch both falling by the wayside. Luckily, the Victoria Branch, in recent years largely run by Graduate Students out of the Archaeology Lab at the University of Victoria, has retained its vitality and, after a hiatus and some thin issues, has recently started producing The Midden in its full glory again.
Even better news, the entire back run of The Midden since its first issue in 1968 is now available open access and online, with the exception that the most recent six months will be available to members only. It is to the enormous credit of the Victoria Group, who I have occasionally observed in their toils from faraway perch in Blog World Headquarters, that the ASBC and The Midden continue to express the vision of its founders over fifty years ago. The core group of the Victoria ASBC in recent years has including longtime members Pete Dady, Tom Bown and the late Gerry Merner, and more recently (and spearheading the digitization project) Jacob Earnshaw, Nicole Westre, Cal Abbott, Seonaid Duffield, and Colton Vogelaar (recent UVIC grads), and Genevieve Hill of the RBCM. Thanks also to the UVIC Library for hosting the journal. (If I’ve forgotten someone then apologies, and I will add them, just let me know). The ASBC has always been run by volunteers and has played a huge role in public education and promotion of archaeology in the Northwest, so the long-standing members and volunteers should also be thanked – of particular note perhaps, long-standing editor in the 1980s and 1990s, Kathryn Bernick.
Being online, the Midden can now include full colour illustrations, as seen to advantage in two recent volumes devoted to Culturally Modified Trees (1, 2).
At the UVIC site, you can sort by author and by issue, and there is a search (and advanced search) which seem to me to be a little hit and miss. Some issues can be downloaded article by article, but most come as a single PDF, typically of 10-20 megs. I find it helps a lot to have a browser or browser extension which shows the PDF prior to downloading. The text is searchable, though of course in the earlier issues the OCR is imperfect.
Anyway, the only point of this blog post is to spread the word that The Midden is going strong, thank the brain-trust, and to suggest people consider join the ASBC (now payable online) for the very modest annual membership fee (25$ / 18$ for students) which keeps the society going. Even better: archaeologists and kin, submit an article for publication!
You can also keep up with the ASBC on their Facebook page, where events are also posted, such as next week’s (Sept 18) talk in Victoria (UVIC) on World War 1 archaeology by Paul Ferguson. Who knows, maybe the Society will spread back to Nanaimo, Vancouver, or on to Prince George, Kelowna or even Spuzzum.