Indexers in the News

Here are a few articles about indexers or indexing in area news sources:

A Meticulously Challenging Job
This difficult and sometimes tedious job cannot be done by computers. It’s been tried, and it’s failed. Instead, Clive Pyne will put in as many as seven days of working 10 hours a day to create an index for a complicated textbook. Pyne starts by reading the book, marking up every fact he finds as he goes. “I’m doing a lot in my head at this point, I’m getting a sense of the pattern.” On the second read, he boots up his computer and, using special software, starts keying in subheads and page numbers. The program organizes these subheads into virtual file cards. About a quarter of Pyne’s time on a book is spent editing: Reorganizing his subheads to make better sense and also trimming to fit the numbers of pages allotted for the index. Organizing information in books is always a challenge. Extra tough: Listing names from cultures where people write their surnames first, or dealing with double postings and nutritional information in a cookbook. “It’s an art and it’s a science,” says Pyne. It takes years to hone one’s indexing skills and get fast at the job…
Calgary MetroNews
June 15, 2009

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. It’s short–a little over 2 minutes.  You can listen to the interview at
“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.

Comments are closed