The Research Potential and Challenges of Unpublished Legacy Collections: The Quackenbush Site

Ontario Archaeological Society Symposium, 2020
Peter Carruthers (ASI), Christian Gates St-Pierre (Université de Montréal), Suzanne Needs-Howarth (ASI), Robert Wojtowicz (ASI)

Research on never-published legacy collections can contribute in meaningful ways to the narrative of the past. But it can also present unique problems. Our contribution focuses on the research potential and challenges presented by the collections and records from the Quackenbush site, a pre-contact Iroquoian settlement in the Kawartha Lakes region that was excavated by various institutions between 1955 and 1975. We will present our first-person accounts of the challenges we encountered and the solutions and work-arounds we devised while working on these materials as part of a planned monograph on the site—specifically, the ceramics and the faunal bone. We will also reflect on the opportunities provided by these materials in terms of answering research questions of today. Following this, we will invite the other session participants to share observations on legacy research best practices that can eventually form the basis for a published resource.