Not for everyone, but if you’re a history nerd like I am, this is a great opportunity:
An early Christmas present from the Society for Medieval Archaeology:
Good news from the Society for Medieval Archaeology and the wizards at the Archaaeology Data Service. The first fifty (50) issues of Medieval Archaeology are available for free online. Its not quite open access, because the issues can’t be archived elsewhere, but that’s no real problem as long as the ADS stays funded.
The Society exists to ‘further the study of the period from the 5th to the 16th century A.D. by publishing a journal of international standing dealing primarily with the archaeological evidence, and by other means such as by holding regular meetings and arranging conferences.’ It’s clear making the journal freely accessible is going to do a lot for their work, but even so when you also have to balance the financial needs of the Society it’s still a courageous step in a field where most publications are subscription-only.
But the real reason to celebrate is that the journal is very good. There is plenty of stuff in it that deserves a wide audience. For instance Pictish symbol stones are a bit of a mystery. However I can read about them in the article Investing in Sculpture: Power in Early-historic Scotland by Meggen Gondek, which is available as a PDF from Volume 50 of Medieval Archaeology.
(Via Alun: Ancient Science and the Science of Ancient Things.)