If you’ve been to virtually any archaeology conference in the Northwest in the past I dunno, 5 decades – then you know you can reliably find Roy and Maureen Carlson at the SFU Archaeology Press book table, and if you’re like me you’ve walked away with yet another copy of Papers on Central Coast Archaeology for yet another five bucks. Yes, they are that persuasive. Since some of the back catalogue was going out of print, it is great to see that for the last couple of years the entire publication run of SFU Archaeology Press has been freely available online. This includes publications ranging from the early 1970s to 2015.
Most local archaeologists are probably aware of this but it seems worthwhile to spread the word.
One attribute of this publication run is it contains reports on many small but significant projects – for example, Catherine Carlson’s update on the Bear Cove faunal assemblage (PDF), or Mike Rousseau and Vanessa Chang’s very welcome and perceptive sorting-out of the South Yale site (PDF), or Kimberley Lawson’s prescient essay on Indigenous Archaeology in BC – from 1997 (PDF), or Sylvia Albright’s seminal thesis-turned-book Tahltan Ethnoarchaeology (catalogue page).
A nice feature of the web site is you have the option to download the entire books, or do so chapter by chapter – though if you do the latter be aware the references are all in a single file in some of the earlier edited volumes. Even the early contributions have clean and accurate Optical Character Recognition allowing for good searching, and while manuscripts then were not as professionally produced as they tend to be these days, the scanning is excellent and these online versions are actually easier to read in many cases than the originals. I’m not sure who the driving force behind the digitization process was — I suspect an army of work-study students — but it’s an excellent job, well designed, produced with care.
While all the contributions are in effect “books” – some edited, some single author – others are actually books from elsewhere – for example, the 2005 second edition of Brian Haydens “Pithouses of Keatley Creek” can be downloaded – the first edition was published by Harcourt-Brace.
In any case, it’s really great to have this large collection of both classic and recent NW Coast Archaeology so readily available – hopefully there is more to come. And who knew esteemed orangutan primatologist Birute Galdikas has a 1971 publication (PDF) on NW Coast faunal collections and analysis?