I finally picked up my comp copy of Derek Hayes’s latest opus, British Columbia: A New Historical Atlas, and it’s a gorgeous, weighty volume. When I edit his books, I always mark up black-and-white printouts, and although I do get to see the colour in PDFs of the drafts, viewing those simply doesn’t compare to being able to flip through the finished printed book.
Derek Hayes has curated a stunning collection of over 900 maps, which he deftly uses to tell the story of the province. This book is packed, featuring an enormous variety of maps and historical images, from the sketches of fur traders and gold seekers to plans for the transcontinental railway that was key to British Columbia’s entry into Confederation to maps used during wartime and beyond. Hayes’s text is lively and accessible but rigorous and thorough. His type of visual storytelling (I should mention that he does all of the interior layout and design) is a fascinating way to learn about history.
What I am most looking forward to this time around is being able to take part in the book’s upcoming publicity and events. The past few historical atlases I have worked on—including the Historical Atlas of Washington and Oregon and the Historical Atlas of the American West—were published by the University of California Press, and I missed out on the publicity efforts for those books completely. I’ll post updates about this new book’s events as I hear about them.