Monday, 28 June 2010

Publication Course

Today was Paula's turn to teach a Part III course and this one was a lot more broad and stimulating than the title might imply at first glance. As well as the actual process of writing up in a thorough, structured and referenced way (that is consistent!), we looked at some other considerations to be made. This is where my humanities degree got left behind...

We looked at the author - editor and author - publisher relationships (it's not that boring, honest!). The practicalities of page layout were also quite interesting as was as our introduction to issues relating to copyright. It seems that as with reporting finds to the Receiver of Wreck, as long as you make a reasonable effort to be honest and do what you are supposed to (ie not steal someone else's property!), it's actually fairly straighforward...

Publication also complemented the photography course as we thought about some of the different ways of processing and using images - I had never thought that you could "use" a scanner creatively! We looked at why photographs are framed as they are with a view to how the images may be used or manipulated later - until now, I'd only really considered composing the actual photograph without any thought to how it may be used subsequently - unless by me in person.

We also spent some time with some newspaper clippings and some leaflets to analyse how a publication should be written with its' intended or likely readers in mind - something which I have often wished more authors gave some thought to!

Apart from being a very coherent and comprehensive introduction to the publication process, and to preparing for publication, this course particularly interested me for some personal reasons as well: my family background is in journalism (print and broadcast), publishing and libaries.

Also, one of the things that has really struck me about archaeology is that it offers the opportunity to really see a project through all the way from start to finish rather than just being a link in a chain. This course has made it clear to me how project planning, surveying, excavation, recording, illustration, publication etc are all different stages of one process and not simply different specialisms. This is something I found really appealing; especially in constrast to many other areas of contempory life.

Right, that's quite enough of my babble. After another fantastic 13 and a half hour day I'm off to the pub...


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