37th Annual Conference

MAY 12–15, 2005


The word "craft" is defined as something made with great care and ingenuity. To craft something—an index, for example—requires both artistry and proficiency, and the construction of the index does not separate design and manufacture.

The 2005 conference of the American Society of Indexers offers something to indexers at all levels of their craft. For the apprentice, we offer courses in basic indexing and introductions to, as well as overviews of, software and technology, and a free-form "Ask an Indexer" panel, where you’re encouraged to raise any questions or concerns you may have. For the journeyman, we offer presentations on business models, marketing, tax information, how to be a consultant, increasing productivity, and indexing in specialty areas like biography, political science, and public policy. Master indexers will benefit from programs on metadata design and thesaurus construction, increasing indexing speed, and the online world.

An exciting development being unveiled at the conference is ASI's indexing training program.

The plenary sessions will encompass a broad range of topics, but their unifying theme is an opportunity for attendees to enjoy hearing from real masters of their craft. The beauty of the conference is that all indexers, like all artists and craftsmen, can learn from each other, and levels of experience are not barriers to the exchange of ideas. An unofficial but highly rewarding aspect of every ASI conference is the opportunity to network, share war stories, and, especially, to have a good time—we all seem to have hilarious tales of indexing disasters and inspiring stories of indexing triumphs to share.

It is especially appropriate that we consider the art and craft of indexing in Pasadena, a center of the American Arts & Crafts Movement. I recommend you allow time to tour the fabulous Gamble House and see the Tiffany and Greene & Greene pieces. Attendees are offered a chance to spend a day at the nearby Getty Museum, admiring its masterpieces, as well as the lovely gardens. One of my favorites in the museum is the exhibit of illuminated manuscripts—and the bookstore is heaven!

Furthermore, Pasadena offers lots of resources for indexers who engage in other crafts, like quilting, knitting, painting and drawing, to name a few. Attendees will be provided with maps to various shops and sights and there will be ample time for exploring.

I am particularly excited about our keynote speaker, Michael Bywater, an erudite and charming fellow, a newcomer to indexing who has a unique perspective on our labors—not to mention a quirky perspective on the whole world. (For details of Michael Bywater's accomplishments, experience, and career, see his biography in the Speaker Biographies section of the program.) Michael is journeying to Pasadena from his home in England—just to speak to ASI!

I look forward to seeing everyone in Pasadena!

Maria Coughlin
Program Chair


The complete conference program is available in html format or may be downloaded as a PDF file (610kb).