If you look up you should see two more links have been added along the header of this page, just above the banner picture.
ARCHAEOLOGY THESES is a page of links to freely-available, online PDF copies of graduate dissertations and theses on Northwest Archaeology subjects (with a few palaeo-environment theses thrown in for fun).
OTHER THESES is a similar page, but where the focus is on Northwest Anthropology, First Nations Studies, History and related disciplines.
I am planning another page which will be for online archaeological, ethnographic and historic documents of note, in particular “classic” ethnographic works and major site reports which have been intentionally posted in online contexts. Probably this will be a few weeks yet.
The impetus for these pages is that I have often said the M.A. thesis in particular is a significant backbone of B.C. Archaeology, and the dissertation even more so. For years these substantial works languished on library shelves. Now, libraries are increasingly making them available online, free to the public and the academy alike – that is, not behind password protection.
However, you have to know how to look, and where to look, and often you need to know in advance what you are looking for, in order to find this stuff. I thought it would be useful to have a very simple portal for these graduate works. Not only does this make them browsable by the more hardcore of my blog readers, but it will get them some google-love!
Not all theses ever written are available online (mine isn’t!): as it notes on the pages, there are programs in place at UVIC and UBC to digitize their back-catalogue of theses and dissertations. It would be great if institutions like Calgary, Toronto and McMaster could get their dSpaces full, and open. Unless, of course, they are ashamed of the quality of their graduate student work 😉
So, these pages will be updated periodically. I am not vouching for the quality of any of the ones I linked — indeed a few of them are exceptionally poorly reasoned, naive, unsupported, badly written, or long-winded efforts -and in at least one case, all of the above! Most are very solid though, in my estimation, and a few are truly excellent. If you know of useful and relevant graduate work that is freely available and not yet linked, let me know in a comment below, or send me an email qmackie [at] gmail.com. In the meantime, happy browsing.