I’m pleased to announce the publication of the iBook version of The Archaeology of Patterson Village: A 19th Century Company Town in the Township of Vaughan, Ontario. In this blog post, I’d like to share with you some background on how The Archaeology of Patterson Village and Our Lands Speak series came to be.
About three years ago, I decided I wanted to start writing my memoirs. At that time, I had been involved in Ontario archaeology for 50 years and, humbly speaking, was the senior-most archaeologist in the field. In reviewing my career, I realized that the extensive array of professionals I had worked with and the broad range of sites I had worked on was extraordinary. Included were a burial mound on Rainy River with Dr. Walter Kenyon of the Royal Ontario Museum, and a St. Lawrence Iroquoian village with Dr. Jim Wright of the National Museum of Man. I had also worked as a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at The University of Western Ontario, as the Executive Director of the London Museum of Archaeology at Western, and operated my own archaeological consulting firm, This Land Archeology Inc.
During these years, I considered myself very fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time, conducting major excavations at the Draper and Keffer sites pre-contract Huron-Wendat villages in the Greater Toronto area, running one of the very few long-term research-oriented regional programs of archaeological survey and test excavation in the Crawford Lake area of southern Ontario, exploring Hudson’s Bay post sites in northeastern Ontario, and excavating more than sixty 19th century Euro-Canadian sites in south central Ontario. I had also participated in the creation of both a movie and a multi-media kit on the Draper site with the National Film Board of Canada and the National Museum of Man, and worked with Rick Fischer to create a series of animations about the Draper site.
I began my work in this field when archaeology involved research undertaken by just a few professionals working at universities and museums. Although I have continued to participate and support the archaeological industry’s efforts to gain new knowledge about our past, I have also become been acutely aware of the minimal level of research being done, and how much private for-profit companies have been dominating the industry. This was, at least in part, the impetus for my memoirs. I decided that my career and my knowledge gained from more than 50 years of active field work were worth writing about and I started to explore how I might tell my story.
At the same time, I discovered Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis, an interactive digital book by former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore created by Push Pot Press Inc. Having acquired a copy, I was fascinated by the incorporation of video, photographs, and other images in this presentation. In researching how this presentation was created, my son Alex, a former Apple software engineer, informed me that Apple had created iBook Author, a free program, which could be used to create a special kind of eBook which incorporated video, animations, and large numbers of pictures. These eBooks, called iBooks, could then be distributed free or sold on iTunes with the author earning a major part of sales revenue. The content of the iBook could also be exported as a .pdf file and viewed on any computer.
As you can well imagine, I have amassed several thousand colour slides and pictures and a wide variety of maps and other figures which illustrate the results of numerous archaeological investigations. I believed that the thorough compiling of these would help tell the story about what has been gleaned through Ontario’s 11,000-year archaeological history, which until now has remained somewhat obscure to many Ontarians.
In 2015, I acquired an Apple laptop, signed up for online tutorials about how to use iBook author and began to write my memoirs. By late 2016, I had written two chapters and was comfortable in the use of the program. By early 2017, I realized that our 2012 to 2014 total excavation of Patterson Village in the City of Vaughan was an extremely important archaeological story which had to be told sooner rather than later. Accordingly, I set aside my memoirs and wrote the Patterson Village story.
One of the things that appealed to me in writing the iBook version of this story was that I was able to begin the iBook with a 2-minute video of the excavations at Patterson Village. This video was created by Julianna Notten from video taken during the excavations and incorporated images from a commercial drone taken at the beginning of the investigations. This video provides the reader with a glimpse of the massive extent of the excavations as they were underway. You can also now view this video in the I C Bookstore.
The second important aspect of the iBook format is that it allows the reader to scroll through multiple images in a “Gallery” of photographs/maps/figures which are associated with the text on each page. This is the beauty of an iBook. For example, in one iBook page I was able to insert all 16 plans of the cellars we excavated in one “Gallery.”
In the feature image above <figure 3.8>, you’ll see at the bottom of the page that the reader can actually scroll through seven images relating to the church we excavated at Patterson Village while reading text about its excavation, study the plan drawing of the church, and examine historical photographs of the church. The iBook also allows a full-screen viewing of each of the images while scrolling through them. This same segment of the iBook occupies five pages of the print version of the book.
While preparing the iBook version, I realized that a print version would also be needed. By chance, one day while visiting the Chapters bookstore in Barrie, a young author and artist, Jenna Stewart, was selling copies of her book, There is This Place, which had been published by I C Publishing. I was impressed by this publication and purchased a copy. Occasionally I have revisited it, and when the time came, I contacted Sheri Andrunyk, founder of I C Publishing about being my publishing partner for the print version of the book.
To produce the print version of this iBook, the text was exported from the iBook and used to typeset the print version using InDesign. The .pdf version is a copy of the print book exported from InDesign.
The iBook publication occurred on Sunday, November 5, 2017, and is now available from the iTunes bookstore.
This iBook contains the same text and images as the printed and .pdf versions of the book.
I trust you will find it as fascinating and enjoyable as I did living and writing it.
Should you have any thoughts or questions you’d like to share, feel free to comment below or reach out to me personally via our contact page.
William D. Finlayson