Indexers in the News, Present and Past

– An article in the Globe and Mail,  a Canadian publication, features PNW member Lisa Fedorak in its discussion of indexing:
“Catalogue Models” by Marcus Gee (August 12, 2022). In the article, the author interviews Lisa within the context of the new focus on indexing provided by the book, Index, A History of the by Dennis Duncan.

– A book about the history of the index AND the book’s indexer made the news in early 2022:
Index,  A History of the: A Bookish Adventure From Medieval Manuscripts to the Digital Age by Dennis Duncan(2022)
“As for the index — or indexes — to ‘Index,’ the primary one, by Paula Clarke Bain, is as rigorous as a nonfiction book’s should be, and as enchanting as the index to a book about indexes had better be. Teeming with gleeful, self-referential Easter eggs worthy of Borges or Lewis Carroll, it should be savored in full as dessert — or, if you are willing to be branded ignorant or dishonest, an aperitif.” ~ Margalit Fox

Read about this noteworthy book in reviews:

A Smart, Playful Book About the Underappreciated Index” by Jennifer Szalai (New York TimesFebruary 9, 2022)
Look It Up? Only if You’re Dishonest and Ignorant” by Margalit Fox (New York Times February 17, 2022)

The Pleasures That Lurk in the Back of the Book” by Alexandra Horowitz (The Atlantic, March 16, 2022)

Sure, Google is handy, but what about the mighty book index?” by Steven Moore (Washington PostFebruary 18, 2022)

Listen to an interview with Dennis Duncan and indexers Paula Clarke Bain and Elizabeth Parson: “How indexes help organize our world” (The Colin McEnroe Show, Connecticut Public Radio/WNPR, March 2, 2022)

A few older articles about indexers or indexing in area news sources:

Microsoft Indexers in the Classroom
The Indexing SIG of STC published this article about local indexers Colleen Dunham and Mary Rosewood who are involved in a program that teaches middle-school children about indexing. From A to Z: The Newsletter of STC’s Indexing SIG, January 2003.

Kudos for Handbook Effort
The Indexing SIG of STC published this article about PNW/ASI’s Pro Bono program in A to Z: The Newsletter of STC’s Indexing SIG, January 2003.

Freelance Indexing
Seattle Writergrrls, a Seattle-based women’s writing group, published this article by chapter member Carolyn Weaver in their zine in June 2001. It is a follow-up to a presentation she made to the group in March 2001.

Secret society of indexers finds a home at the back of the book
The Register-Guard (Eugene, Oregon) published this article on February 11, 2001. Indexers mentioned include Cynthia Landeen, Sherry Smith, Alisa Macci Berti , Phyllis Linn, and Martha Osgood. (NOTE: the article misstates our stats: we had 103 members (not 35) at that time, and were ranked 4th in ASI chapter size.)

Cookbooks: Eating Well dishes out advice for life – October 27, 2004
Review by Kim Davaz for The Register-Guard (Eugene, Oregon)
The Essential Eating Well Cookbook, edited by Patsy Jamieson (Countryman Press)
“…I have a quibble with the index of this book. Quick Cassoulet isn’t listed under “Cassoulet,” but you can find it as “Quick Cassoulet” and under “Beans,” “Chicken” and “Turkey.” 

KLCC’s Northwest Passage
Sound Economies Series: Cynthia Landeen
Eugene indexer Cynthia Landeen was interviewed on KLCC, Eugene’s NPR affiliate, about indexing during difficult economic times.
“Cynthia Landeen has one of the most unusual jobs around. She is a freelance book indexer – meaning she is hired by publishers to create the list of concepts and corresponding page numbers at the back of nonfiction books.  She makes it possible for people to find information in a text without having to read the entire thing…”  KLCC Radio, Eugene, Oregon

THE POET AND THE POEM from the Library of Congress
An interview with indexer Maria Coughlin VanBeuren. Maria reads some her poetry and talks about indexing as well. A favorite bit is where she says: “We are a harried group of people” (referring to deadlines) “who live lives in semi-darkness while we mutter and curse” (who hasn’t been there?) Great fun.