Books dealing with human lives — be they history, biography, autobiography (including diaries), letters or fiction — can be difficult to index. Precisely defined concepts from a thesaurus cannot be used, and the indexer often has to make subjective judgements as to the choice of language for index entries.
Topics discussed include:
* whether fiction should be indexed;
* examples of outstanding indexes;
* analysing the text before starting to index;
* dealing with names;
* avoiding bias;
* the merits of different arrangements (alphabetical, chronological, page-order and theme-by-theme);
* how best to deal with the ‘mighty main character’ who may be mentioned on most pages and whose main entry can become overloaded with subheadings;
* and, conversely, what to do about minor mentions (why strings of undifferentiated page numbers are sometimes unavoidable in narrative indexing);
* the importance of presentation and layout.
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Person Reviewed This Product
By Society of Indexers
Aug 25, 2009
"From reviews of 1st edition (1992) and 2nd edition (1998)" A joy to read and enjoyable to use ... both invaluable and delightful — American Society of Indexers Newsletter An informative, well written guide, which does much to clarify the mysteries of narrative indexing. — Aslib Information The reader’s attention is never lost ... The relatively short time taken to read through this volume will certainly be time well spent. — Catalogue & Index ... a valuable source of reference ... It is excellent value and I highly recommend it. — Society of Freelance Editors and Proofreaders Newsletter A most useful compilation of the state of knowledge on indexing biographies, which ... is useful for indexers of academic books in many disciplines ... It is recommended for every indexer’s library. — Australian Society of Indexers Newsletter A thorough discussion of the problems inherent in biographical material ... A “must read” for anyone who is working in that genre ... a... More > pleasure to read. — IASC/SCAD Bulletin This is such a refreshing book! Bell’s approach to narrative indexing is flexible, subtle, interpretive, and respectful, qualities to which all indexers should aspire. — Do Mi Stauber, The Indexer, October 2004 ... reflects many of her insights and innovative work with indexing novels. She brings to all of her articles and books a clear and witty intelligence, an impressive mastery of indexing skills, and a lifetime of reading. — Dave Prout, Key Words, Jan/March 2005 Informative and thought-provoking — and surprisingly entertaining. — John Edmondson, LOGOS, March 2004 ... a personable guide for professional indexers on how to raise their craft to the level of art. ... a pleasing blend of sensibility, encouragement, and fun, with a dash of philosophy thrown in. — Carrie Pedersen, Journal of Scholarly Publishing, April 2005< Less
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