I’m Rachel Juen, one of this year’s field school students and current editor of the project’s upcoming booklet on the fur trade. This will be the second issue in the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project Booklet Series intended to summarize our findings and explore topics that appeal to a wider audience in an effort to understand Fort St. Joseph in the larger historical and cultural context of early America.
The last few weeks I have been busy writing, rewriting, and researching. I’ve also been compiling the research I did for this year’s Open House panels on the fur trade (which you can see here: http://www.wmich.edu/fortstjoseph/panels.html) and information from our Summer Lecture Series presenters and other contributors to be used in the booklet.
As a historical archaeologist I dig not only in the ground but in the archives and library as well. By using complementary sources of information—both written documents and artifacts of material culture—we can get a more complete picture of the past and the people who lived it. My hope is that readers of our fur trade booklet will gain insights into how the archaeology and the history of the fur trade complement each other and how Fort St. Joseph fits into the larger picture of the North American fur trade.
The booklet is scheduled for completion later this year and will be distributed free of charge in 2012, thanks to a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council.
You can view our first booklet in the series (about the Women of New France) here: http://www.wmich.edu/fortstjoseph/docs/women-of-new%20france.pdf