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The Technique
of Indexing



!,URY




LIBRARY

OF THE

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA.

C/.7JS



THS

TECHNIQUE OF INDEXING.



THE



TECHNIQUE OF INDEXING



i BY

MARY PETHERBRIDGE (Nat. Sci. Tripos),

(INDEXER OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY'S RECORDS,

THE DRAPERS' COMPANY'S RECORDS,
THE WARRINGTON CORPORATION RECORDS,

ETC., ETC.)



UNIVERSITY



LONDON :

THE SECRETARIAL BUREAU^

52A, CONDUIT STREET, W.

1904.

Copyright in U.S.A. by Mary Petherbridge.



SS&



ENTERED AT STATIONERS 1 HALL
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.



TO
C. S. DE S.



CONTENTS.



INTRODUCTION.
DEFINITIONS.

CHAPTER I.

THE INDEX AS A WHOLE.

Consistency. Complementary Function. Un-
necessary Indexing. Necessary Indexing.

CHAPTER II.

CLASSIFICATION.

Classified versus Unclassified Indexes. Ancient
Records. Modern Records.

CHAPTER III.

THE MINUTE STRUCTURE.

THE ENTRY SLIP : research work ; " The Alien
Immigrant"; "hanging indention"; complete
entry ; straightforward wording ; omission of
heading in entry ; punctuation ; capitals.



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER IV.

THE MINUTE STRUCTURE (cont).

Alphabetising. Pinning-up. Copying. Check-
ing and Criticism. Wording and Punctuation.
Position of the Entry. Cross-references.
Accuracy.

CHAPTER V.

RULES FOR NAMES.

General Form of Entry. Pseudonyms and Earlier
Names. Christian Names. Surnames.
Titles. Compound Names. Prefixes. Geo-
graphical Names. Variations in Spelling.
Corporate Bodies. Annual Addresses.
Vessels. Congresses. Firms. Royal Com-
missions. Societies' Transactions.

CHAPTER VI.

SUBJECT HEADINGS.

Biographies, Letters, Diaries, etc. Travels.
Scientific Books. Government Despatches,
Synonymous Subjects. Opposed Subjects.
Compound Words. Subordinate Headings.

CHAPTER VII.

CROSS-REFERENCES.

Definition. Forms of Cross-references.
Classification. Punctuation.



CONTENTS. XI



CHAPTER VIII.

ARRANGEMENT.

Alphabetical and Chronological. Persons, Firms,
Place, Title Entry. Names. Titles. Pre-
fixes. Compound Names. Hyphened-words,
Family Names. People of same Name.
Type. Proof -Reading.

CHAPTER IX.

RECORDS.

Charters. Small Charters. Rolls. Registers.
Miscellaneous Records ; Deeds, etc. Calendar-
ing. Index Locorum. Modern Records.
East India Co.'s Records-



CHAPTER X.

CARD INDEXES.

Definition. Guide Cards. Entry Cards. Special
U ses. Advantages.

CHAPTER XL

HINTS FOR MAKING A CARD INDEX OF OVER
100,000 NAMES.

Book Registers v. Card Indexes. Typewriting
'the Cards. Research Work. Sorting. Guide
Cards. Elimination of Duplicates.



Xll CONTENTS.



CHAPTER XII.

CORRESPONDENCE.

Card Index System. Coloured Cards. Filing
of Letters. Entries. Guide Cards.



CHAPTER XIII.

MAGAZINES AND NEWSPAPERS.

Periodical Publications. Indexing for the Pub-
lic. Indexing for Staff Purposes.

CHAPTER XIV.

NEWSPAPER CUTTINGS.

Arrangement of Cuttings. Annotation. Bind-
ing. Typewritten Index.

CHAPTER XV.

THE GENERAL ASPECT.

Necessity of Method. Prospects of Work
Necessity of Training. Government Work.
Records. Newspapers. Prices Paid.



INTRODUCTION.



ERRATUM.



Page 25, line 3, " Where every author's name,"
should read " Where nearly every author's name."



that of the indexer. Cataloguing and biblio-
graphy deal with large masses of books, or
with wide subjects, while indexing has to do
with the minute structure of one book or of
a series of books; and whereas the scope of
the one is unlimited, that of the other is
strictly limited and the methods employed are
consequently different.

This book endeavours to answer the
question put to me on an average three



Xll CONTENTS.



CHAPTER XII.

CORRESPONDENCE.

Card Index System. Coloured Cards. Filing
of Letters. Entries. Guide Cards.



CHAPTER XIII.



THE GENERAL ASPECT.



Necessity of Method. Prospects of Work-
Necessity of Training. Government Work.-
Records. Newspapers. Prices Paid.



INTRODUCTION.



THIS small book purports to be an elementary
text-book and practical guide to index-making.
It has nothing to do with cataloguing and it
is addressed to that section of the general
public desiring knowledge on the subject before
taking up definite training; it does not pretend
to teach anybody already in the profession.
The main fault of the various articles which
have appeared on the subject of indexing is
that they are written entirely from the point
of view of the cataloguer and the biblio-
grapher, which is quite a different one from
that of the indexer. Cataloguing and biblio-
graphy deal with large masses of books, or
with wide subjects, while indexing has to do
with the minute structure of one book or of
a series of books; and whereas the scope of
the one is unlimited, that of the other is
strictly limited and the methods employed are
consequently different.

This book endeavours to answer the
question put to me on an average three



XIV INTRODUCTION.



times a week : How is an Index made ? and
I have therefore considered it expedient to
give large numbers of specimen entries taken
from actual indexes which I have made, at
the same time adding brief annotations to
elucidate special points. This is according to
the system I have successfully followed in
some years of practical teaching, and by
using these examples instead of treating the
matter purely theoretically I hope to convey
to the mind of the would-be indexer what
an index is, and the course to be followed
in making one.

I am much indebted to the Rev. Canon Clare
Hudson for his very kind help in the final
correction of this book.

For all arbitrary rules applicable to cata-
loguing and to indexing alike, I have used Mr.
Cutter's " Rules for a Dictionary Catalogue,"
and a very ingenious and useful little book
compiled by Miss Theresa Hitchler, Super-
intendent of Cataloguing in the Brooklyn Public
Library, called " Comparative Cataloguing Rules :
20 points in 10 Codes briefly Compared."

The 10 codes are :

I. A.L.A. Condensed rules for an author
and title catalogue, prepared by the Co-
operation committee of the American
Library Association, (in Cutter's Rules,
p. 99. 1891).



INTRODUCTION. XV



A.L.A. (REVISED). Condensed rules for
an author and title catalogue, prepared by
the Co-operation committee of the Ame-
rican Library Association, 1883, revised
by the Advisory Catalogue committee,
1902, issued by the Library of Congress.
Wash. Govt., 1902.

These rules are designed primarily for the
printed catalogue cards of the Library of
Congress, the Committee not yet having
considered the rules for manuscript cata-
logues.

2. BODLEIAN. Compendious cataloguers'
rules for the author catalogue of the
Bodleian Library ; a reprint, (in N.Y. State
Library. Bulletin 77 : English cataloguing
rules. 1902).

3. BRITISH MUSEUM. Rules for the compila-
tion of the catalogue of printed books in
the library of the British Museum ; a reprint,
(in N.Y. State Library. Bulletin 77 :
English cataloguing rules. 1902).

4. CUTTER. Rules for a Dictionary Cata-
logue, by Charles A. Cutter. Ed. 3. Wash.
Govt , 1891.

5. JEWETT. On the construction of cata-
logues of libraries, by Charles C. Jewett.
Ed. 2. Wash. Smithsonian Institution,
1853-



XVI INTRODUCTION.



6. L.A.U.K. Cataloguing rules (for an
author catalogue) of the Library Asso-
ciation of the United Kingdom, as revised
at the Liverpool Meeting, 1883 ; a reprint,
(in N.Y. State Library. Bulletin 77:
English cataloguing rules. 1902).

7. LIBRARY SCHOOL. Library school rules,
by Melvil Dewey. Ed. 3. Bost. Library
Bureau, 1894.

Simplified Library school rules, by
Melvil Dewey. Bost. Library bureau,
1898.

8. LINDERFELT. Eclectic card catalogue
rules, author and title entries ; based on
Dziatzko's Instruction, by Klas August
Linderfelt. Bost. Cutter, 1890.

9. PERKINS. San Francisco cataloguing, by
Fred. B. Perkins. San. Fran., Murdock,
1884.

10. WHEATLEY. How to catalogue a
library, by Henry B. Wheatley. Ed. 2.
Lond. Stock, 1889.

MARY PETHERBRIDGE.

October, 1904.



Cleverness is not required in an indexer ;
brilliancy is dangerous. . The desirable quality is
clearness.

Sound sense, sound education, and a good
technical training are the makings of an indexer.

The indexer must remember that while he
knows all about the book, the man for whom he
makes the index may know nothing.

In making an index, the point of view to be
taken is that of the reader.

The soul of indexing, as of wit, is brevity. But
in an index nothing must be left to the imagin-
ation.

An Index is a summary of all statements
and allusions contained in a book.

The object of an Index to a book is to
show anyone who can read exactly what the
book contains, and where each item of inform-
ation is to be found.

An Entry is the unit of an index ; the
record of a single thing contained in the
book.

An imperfect entry is worse than omission,
the latter disappoints, but the other misleads.

A Heading is the generic term under which
specific entries are generally arranged and to
which they all refer.



CHAPTER I.



THE INDEX AS A WHOLE.



OF THE

UNIVERSITY

OF

^




CHAPTER I.



THE INDEX AS A WHOLE.

There is no one system of indexing ; if the Consistency.
general underlying principle is thoroughly
grasped each piece of work can be treated
individually. The outline, the skeleton, must
be perfect before the work of writing the slips is
begun ; then the aim should be consistency.
There may be errors of judgment arising from a
too superficial knowledge of the subject, or
want of time in preparing the index, but if the
whole is consistent the index will be good.
A good index is distinguished by this consistency
of purpose, which may be compared to line
in drawing a dislocation in the one is as
apparent and as hideous as in the other.

An index is not necessarily only a summary Complemen-

of what is contained in the book; it may J ap y .

f function.
become its complement. A little research work

on the part of the indexer will often correct
slight omissions or a want of definiteness in
the book itself. An instance of this occurred
in a recently published book on Art. The two
artists Filippo Lippi and Fra Filippino Lippi



24 THE TECHNIQUE OF INDEXING.

were in one instance confounded and the error
corrected in the index.

The names of persons mentioned in the
book, should, whenever possible, be entered in
the index under the full name, with title or
titles, as the case may be, and if a person is
referred to by two or three different names
by an earlier title perhaps, or an altered
pseudonym his correct name should be looked
up and the entry made under it, all other
names, nick-names, etc., being cross-referenced
to the correct name.



Ex. Salisbury, 4th Marquess of, James Edward

Hubert Gascoyne Cecil.
Cranborne, Viscount James Edward
Hubert Gascoyne Cecil, see Salisbury,
4th Marquess of.



Bronte, Charlotte (Pseud. Currer Bell.)
Bell, Currer, see Bronte, Charlotte.



Bronte, Rev. Patrick.

Brunty, Patrick, see Bronte, Rev. Patrick.



THE INDEX AS A WHOLE. 25



This research work necessitates the possession
of one or two good reference books and possibly

. . ru<wk^-

a visit to the British Museum, where ^ every
author's name will be found entered correctly
in the catalogue.

Many books do not require indexing, and are Unnecessary
spoilt by having one. That pleasing book,
" The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft," has
an index which is so out of place that it
makes the book appear ridiculous.

Blackberries, a meal of,

is hardly a felicitous method of drawing
attention to one of the most charming chapters
in the book.

In a case like this, where the author,
apparently, has wished to lend verisimilitude
to his claim of " human document " for his
imaginative work, a " Contents " table amply
meets all requirements. To index a book whose
charm lies in lightness of touch, play of fancy
in a word, atmosphere is like the proverbial
dusting the wings of the butterfly the damage
is irremediable.

Where the aim of reading is pleasure, an
index is a nuisance. Where an index is a
pleasure reading is often unnecessary. The
searcher for facts detects what he wants at
once in a good index, looks up the particular
passage or passages and rejoices in time saved.

Many indexes are over-weighted with inappro-
priately worded, if not unnecessary, entries.



26 THE TECHNIQUE OF INDEXING.

In a recent edition of an old diary the
following passage :



" He tells me of their wooing by serenades
at the window and that their friends do
always make the match ; but yet that
they have opportunities of meeting at
masse at church, and there they make
love."



is indexed under



Love, method of making in Spain.



The other extreme is reached in a case of
a text - book on Theoretical Chemistry in
which the index evidently the work of the
learned professor himself is so vague and
general that a good " Contents " table would
have served the student's purpose better than
the so-called index.



CHAPTEE II.



CLASSIFICATION.



CHAPTER II.



CLASSIFICATION.

Generally speaking, the books requiring The
indexes are books of reference and text books
mainly intended for the use of students, and
for these the best general form is an alpha-
betical classified arrangement of names and
subjects with a well balanced network of
cross references.

The chief value of the classified arrangement
lies in the fact that by reason of the classifica-
tion, the entry possesses a certain definite
value, which it loses partly, if not entirely, as
an isolated unit.

By classification I mean the grouping
together in some definite (generally alphabetical)
order and under the proper specific headings all
entries belonging to a generic heading.

The classified index is largely dependent on
its cross-references which serve as guides to the
reader, indicating where he can find everything
on a given subject in the book.

In an unclassified index where the entries The
are arranged in small groups under subordinate
headings dotted about all over the index in



30 THE TECHNIQUE OF INDEXING.

alphabetical order, the student is forced to
think out what headings to search for and to
look up each one separately in different parts
of the index, and, in the event of the necessary
cross-references not being present, may miss
many of the entries altogether. This want of
co-ordination is well shown in the unwieldy
mass of entries forming the index to the loth
edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. A
few examples taken at random from this index
emphasise the difference between a classified
and an unclassified index. Taking Botany as
the large subject heading, under Morphology
there is one entry



Botany :

Morphology of plants - 4.Q2a



looking this up under the large heading
Morphology, Botanical, there are two entries



Morphology :

Botanical - 4.83b, 25.407^



however is only a definition ; the entry
4-92a referring to the article on Morphological



CLASSIFICATION. 31



Botany is not mentioned. Under Plants,
Structure and Morphology of, there is the one
entry again, 4.830, referring to the definition.
Under the heading of Physiology of Plants
are given the following entries:



Physiology of Plants - 4.8id, 7.5180, i

3I-755C.



under



Botany :

Physiology - 19.83^ 31-755^.



under



Plants :

Physiology - 4.8id, 19.43!), 3*-



In a classified index all the entries would
be found under



32 THE TECHNIQUE OF INDEXING.



Botany :






Physiology


8id,


IV.




5i8c,


VII.


1


567d,


XIV.




43b, 83a,


XIX.




755c, 755d,


XXXI.



with the cross references



Physiology of Plants, see Physiology under

Botany.
Plants, Physiology of, see Physiology under

Botany.



In any case, if the three headings are kept,
all the entries should be repeated under each.
Another example is the entry 4-83a under
Geographical Botany, which is also found under
Botany ; under Geographical Distribution we find



Geographical Distribution, see Distribution
of Animals.



but ~ there is no cross-reference see Distribution
of Plants.



CLASSIFICATION. 33



The cross-references are often puzzling. The
rediictio ad absurdum is reached in



Fern, see Ferns.
Plant, see Plants.



while the entries belonging to " Flowers " are
placed under the singular " Flower.' 1 Either
the particular indexer responsible for these
entries did not understand the nature of a
cross-reference or required a certain number
of entries to pad the index.

In a work so well arranged and classified
as the Encyclopaedia Britannica in which
a subject index is given at the end of each
special article it is a little difficult to under-
stand why this costly and cumbersome index
should ever have been made. The student is
at no loss to find in the Encyclopaedia itself
all that he requires on the subject of Botany,
but it is a lengthy job to pick out of the
index all the references to botanical subjects
scattered throughout its pages.*

A great deal may be said in favour of
arranging entries under specific co-ordinate
headings rather than grouping them all together

* To quote a well-known writer, who is also a contributor
to the Encyclopaedia : " It is making an index to an index
which already has an index."

C



34 THE TECHNIQUE OF INDEXING.

minutely classified, under their large generic
class heading; but the former system can only
be used satisfactorily in conjunction with a
complicated network of cross-references, linking
up the different specific co-ordinate headings
into their generic groups.

Generic and If any one generic heading is too large and
Headings. threatens by its mass to destroy the balance
of the index it should be put under its specific
heading in alphabetical order in the index, and
cross-referenced from the generic heading to
indicate where it is to be found.



Ex. INDIA :

North West Provinces :
Post Office :

Instructions re charge for

official correspondence - 115

&c.
Revenue :

Remissions - 25

&c.
See also Place-names.



INDIA :
Agra:

Post Office :

Establishment of- 40

Robbery at - - no



CLASSIFICATION. 35



INDIA: (cont.)
Agra : (cont.)
Revenue :

Board of, remarks on proposed
withdrawal of Rohilcund
currency - 23

Disbursement for preparation
of reports 4

All entries referring to the North West
Provinces in general are entered under that
title, but all entries referring to particular
places are entered under their Place-names,
not under North West Provinces.

The alphabetical arrangement of entries gives Records.
way to a chronological arrangement in the
treatment of Ancient Records and some
Historical Works, and this for the obvious
reason that the chronology is the chief
point to be considered. Ancient Records are
not " indexed," but " calendared," an index of
names forming a complementary supplement
completing the work. This class of work, how-
ever, belongs to the sphere of cataloguing,
therefore it does not enter into the scope of
this book.

Modern Records, however, often fall to the
lot of the indexer. The ordinary methods can
be used ; a name and subject index in alpha-
betical order is a good method of dealing with
them.



CHAPTER III.



THE MINUTE STRUCTURE.



CHAPTER III.



THE MINUTE STRUCTURE.

The amateur indexer frequently starts making
an index by first reading the book and under-
scoring what he considers the "catch words,"
these " catch words " afterwards forming the
basis of his entries. This is a poor method,
and one calculated to produce an index without
co-ordination or completeness, but made up of a
number of isolated entries.

There are five distinct stages in index-
making :

1. Writing the entry slip.

2. Alphabetising.

3. Pinning up and arranging.

4. Criticising.

The indexer should know something of his The Entry
subject before starting the work, and it is often lp *
necessary to spend some time looking up books of
reference, mentally formulating subject headings,
while one or more books of reference by one's
side are of invaluable aid while the index is in
progress.



40 THE TECHNIQUE OF INDEXING.

Having acquired this preliminary knowledge
the first paragraph in the book should be
carefully read and the slips written, all the
facts contained in that paragraph being
summarised and entered under all the necessary
headings and subordinate headings.

Slips of a uniform size should be used and
one fact only should be written on each slip.
One entry may form the nucleus of several
slips, consisting of one or more name-entries,
one or more place-entries, one or more subject-
headings, one or more cross-references. All the
slips should be written directly from the book ;
it is never wise to leave any of the subject-
headings or cross-references to be written at a
later stage of the index.

The following paragraph from The Alien
Immigrant, w r ith its index slips, will serve as an
example :

" There is a vital distinction between the
immigration just mentioned and that of
Hebrew people. Clannishness, tradition, a
sort of historical fear of separation from their
co-religionists, their obligation to observe
peculiar ritual ordinances, added to the prompt-
ings and difficulties which tend to keep men of
the same tongue and habits together in a strange
land all these things act as an inducement,
almost as a spell, which brings the Jewish immi-
grants into the already crammed and congested



THE MINUTE STRUCTURE. 4!

areas of the East End, where their brethren
are aggregated and segregated. And the native
folk cannot assimilate this element, for inter-
marriage with Gentiles is forbidden by the
precepts of the Jewish faith and is opposed to
the Hebrew ideal. Mr. Harry Lewis, a most
able Jewish writer, tells us in " The Jew in
London " : 'I shall endeavour to establish
that the Jewish race, as a separate entity,
has a future ; that its mission as such is
far from completed ; and that it can
look forward to something better than the
euthanasia to which Mr. Russell apparently
condemns it.' And again : ' Past experience
certainly justifies us in believing that we shall
be able to resist assimilation.' "



Hebrews, see Jews.



Jews:

Distinction between Jewish and
other immigrants 6-8.



Sociological Aspects :

Difficulties of housing and over-
crowding in East London, due to
increased immigration 6.



42 THE TECHNIQUE OF INDEXING.



East End, see under London.



London :
East End :

Causes of overcrowding of Jews
in certain districts 7



Lewis, Harry:

" The Jew in London " by, 7.



"The Jew in London," see under
Newspapers and Publications.



Newspapers and Publications :

" The Jew in London," by Mr. Harry
Lewis 7.



Russell, Mr. :
on the Future of the Jewish race 7.



Hanging In writing the slips begin at the extreme left-

indention. , ' , . . ; , , . . , ,.

hand corner, the principal subject-heading on the

top line, the sub-heading and entry underneath,



THE MINUTE STRUCTURE. 43



each on a line by itself, starting each line under
the third letter of the first word in the line above.
This is called " hanging indention."

The number of the page should be written at
the right-hand corner at the bottom of the slip.
This minimises labour in the subsequent " alpha-
betising " and " pinning-up " of the slips.

In the preliminary writing of the slip the fact Complete
should be entered fully. In another stage of the entr y'
index the entry can be cut down and condensed
to the required brevity. Slips bearing the names
of people should have distinguishing clues of
identity in the form of title, rank, appointment,
place, &c. Whenever possible the Christian
name should be entered in full. In the " pinning-
up " these clues help ^to identify persons of the
same name, and they may then be crossed out
unless they happen to form an integral part of
the name.



Ex. Smith, George (tax collector)
Services commended 7



In the pinning-up when George Smith has
been identified or distinguished from others of
the same name the clue can be crossed out.

Any twisting of sentences should be avoided, Straight-
although the first word should give the key SjJdta.



44 THE TECHNIQUE OF INDEXING.

to the entry, except in the case when it
begins with the small words on, at, and, etc.
For instance:



Stanhope, Earl:

on the Address of Thanks - 195

and the Habeas Corpus Act - 232

at Meeting re French Revolution - 756



In this instance the key words should be
capitalised and alphabetised. This is better
than writing


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