Special Event: What’s in a Name? Invert Your Thorns into Roses

What's in a Name? Invert Your Thorns into Roses

This special event was held virtually via Zoom, on Saturday, December 4, 2021.

"Sticks and stones can break your bones, but names can kill you."
— Philip Zimbardo (and every indexer ever)

What's in a name? Seemingly simple, in reality, a name can be a thorn in the side of indexers. To invert or not to invert?—that is just one question. Other times, you cannot tell what the dickens the name is. The American Society for Indexing is excited to bring together four experts who will share their knowledge about indexing names. No longer will you be false to any person's name.

Challenges in Indexing Names

10:00 AM, Pacific / 1:00 PM, Eastern (60-minute session)

When and how to index names can appear easy—and mostly is. But the minority can consume an undue amount of time, maddening when time is short. Noeline Bridge describes several categories of names that often pose difficulties, providing examples of each, many drawn from her own experience, along with tips on resolving questions.

Noeline Bridge has been fascinated by and wrestled with the form and entry of names for decades, first as a library cataloger and subsequently as a back-of-the-book indexer. This fascination has led her to make presentations on them, along with publishing several articles and a book, Indexing Names.

Issues in Indexing Russian Names

11:10 AM, Pacific / 2:10 PM, Eastern (30-minute session)

Indexing Russian names may seem straightforward, but there are some challenges that may confuse indexers who are not familiar with the language. This session explains how to avoid common mistakes when dealing with Russian names. Topics to be covered include handling spelling variations, use of patronymic names, rules for indexing names of royalties and Orthodox clergy, disambiguation of geographic names, and indexing abbreviations. In addition, some differences between Russian and Ukrainian names will also be discussed.

Sergey Lobachev launched his indexing business in 2014. He focuses on academic literature in humanities and social sciences, and especially on studies in Russian and East European history and culture. He has university degrees in Russian history and in Library and Information Science.

The Mystery of Spanish Personal Names, a Look at Gender and Culture

11:50 AM, Pacific / 2:50 PM, Eastern (30-minute session)

Spanish names present unique challenges to the indexer. Cultural folkways are examined, especially around women’s names. With cultural change and online databases, presentations of names have evolved. Knowing how to index both historical and contemporary names is important for consistency and reliability. Portuguese names flip Spanish structures and are treated briefly.

A Latin Americanist, Francine Cronshaw is the go-to person on all things Spanish in ASI and holds a Diploma Superior from the Government of Spain. She was the founding president of the New Mexico chapter and served as an expert witness on Spanish surname use in the USA. She has written articles on Spanish indexing for our professional publications and continues to study, research and index Spanish and French on a daily basis.

Genealogical Indexing: The Name’s the Thing!

12:30 PM, Pacific / 3:30 PM, Eastern (60-minute session)

Genealogical indexing focuses primarily on the names of people and the significant places and events affecting their lives. Spelling of personal names in official records is often fluid, affected by literacy, geographic location, immigration, politics, marriage(s), or adoption. Similarly, names of places, institutions, geographic borders and jurisdictions, and fixed sites such as cemeteries, churches, or battlegrounds cited in family histories are subject to change. This session will focus primarily on the disambiguation of names and the sources available (online and in print) that are useful resources for indexing family histories, publications of genealogical or historical societies, and related works.

Carolyn Weaver began freelance indexing in 1991, specializing in health, behavioral, and social sciences. She is now semi-retired and quite picky about the jobs she accepts, although she does accept enough interesting projects to continue claiming the home office deduction. She began researching her own family history about 20 years ago when she discovered the wealth of genealogical resources available online, and now has over 8,000 records in her family tree. She passed the genealogical addiction on to her daughter, Lisa Weaver, who is planning a second career as a professional genealogist and indexer when she retires from the Washington Air National Guard, and who has made significant contributions to the content of this presentation.

Your registration includes all four presentations (3 hours of programming plus 30 minutes of break). Each session will be followed by a 10-minute break or networking time. The program is subject to change without notice.

Please note: This virtual event will be presented live via Zoom, and the sessions will be recorded. However, in order to encourage open participation, the Q&A at the end of each session will not be recorded. Just as with an in-person event, attendees will be able to ask questions by (electronically) raising their hands or by asking questions in the chat box. Please understand that the quality of the live presentation may be lower for viewers with slower internet connections. Recordings will be available for one year following the event for those who register. No refunds can be given after November 29.

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