See Also—November 2019

ASI News
—ASI Announces 2020 Annual Conference Location
News from Other Associations
—Indexing Course Celebrates 15 Years
Webinar Review: The Glory and Nothing of a Name with Noeline Bridge
Spotlight—Meridith Murray
Did you know?

ASI News

2020 Annual Conference: Join Us in the “City of Oaks”


The American Society for Indexing is pleased to announce that its 2020 conference will be held in lovely Raleigh, North Carolina. Mark your calendar for April 23-25, 2020, when indexers from across the country will meet in conveniently located Raleigh for Indexing Crossroads.

Your conference committee will soon send out a call for proposals. In the meantime, please consider what indexing-related subjects you could present on. Or let your conference committee know what you are most interested in hearing about as an attendee.

We're happy to report that we've negotiated a great rate of just $137 per night with our conference hotel, which includes breakfast each morning. And getting to Raleigh is easy. You can come by plane, train, or automobile. In fact, more than one-half of the United States population lives within a day's drive or an hour's flight from Raleigh. We’ve arranged for ground transportation from RDU to our conference hotel. Come a day early or stay over to experience all that Raleigh has to offer.

Mark your calendar for April 23-25, 2020 for Indexing Crossroads and watch your inbox for details about registration and travel.

News from Other Associations

UC Berkeley Indexing Course Celebrates 15 Years

October marked the 15-year anniversary of the UC Berkeley Extension Indexing: Theory and Application course. Sylvia Coates developed the course at the suggestion of Nancy Mulvany.
ASI members Jan Wright, Fred Leise, and Kendra Millis are among the list of current and former instructors, which includes Vicki Agee, Heather Ebbs, Max McMaster, Lucie Haskins, and Ruth Pincoe. Gale Rhoades has also contributed to the success of the course, providing technical support to students since its inception.

Webinar Review: The Glory and the Nothing of a Name with Noeline Bridge

NoelineBridgePersonal names present indexers with many choices: How much information should be included (or excluded) in an entry? How does an indexer distinguish between or among people with similar names? What are the most reliable sources for checking inconsistencies in naming conventions?

Without a set of guidelines for addressing these issues, indexers can lose valuable time trying to make the best decisions based on the information at hand. Meanwhile, the deadline looms.

No worries. Indexer and author Noeline Bridge has compiled a list of conundrums that often emerge when indexing personal names, along with her personal strategies for resolving them. Five categories are covered in this one-hour webinar, including:

  1. Determining the order of the elements of a name
    (Discover why Samuel de Champlain is indexed as Champlain, Samuel de, while Pierre De Bané is indexed as De Bané, Pierre.)
  2. Length or brevity of a name—how much to include/exclude
    (Learn when to use Galileo versus Galileo Galilei.)
  3. Names consisting of one word—when and how to add detail
    (Why a one-word entry for Homer always suffices, even in the unlikely event that Homer Simpson appears in the same text!)
  4. Distinguishing between people with similar names
    (How including geographical information can clarify differences, as in:
    • Martens [purchaser of land from Brodsky],
    • Martens [wool business with Ekaterinoslav factory],
    • Martens, Jacob [of Tiegenhagen])
  5. Variant names borne by one person; changes in name
    (Such as Samuel Langhorne Clemens, writing as Mark Twain.)

Examples abound for indexing names from various European and Asian cultures, as well as Arabic and ancient/modern Jewish names. Religious names and names for royalty are also covered in detail.

Bridge provides advice for choosing which version of a name to index when multiple versions appear in a single text, including the most reliable references to consult when the book’s editor or author is unavailable for questions.

The webinar concludes with a helpful Q&A session where Bridge addresses specific questions related to indexing names.

The Glory and the Nothing of a Name is available for purchase here.


Our Spotlight this month is Meridith Murray, who serves as co-president of ASI’s Heartland Chapter. If you would like to be in the Spotlight, or nominate someone for it, contact the editor, Roseann Biederman.

Where do you live now? Where are you originally from? Do you share your home with pets or family?

Lisa Ann Photography

I live in southern Indiana with my husband; we have been here for thirty years. I was born in Texas and grew up in California. Our five children are grown and have homes and families of their own, but we still share the house with several dogs and cats, so it’s hardly an “empty nest”!

What is your educational background?
I have a Bachelor of Music degree in music history from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.

Do you have any hobbies, travels, volunteer work, or other interesting things to share?
I make pysanky eggs and knit Christmas stockings in my “spare” time.

What kind of work did you do before you studied indexing? Are you still doing that or other work in addition to indexing?
I have been a teacher (music and English), and for several years I was head of a high school language arts department. I am also a church organist, now semi-retired. Indexing is pretty much my full-time job, although I have recently been branching out into copy editing, doing work for the African Studies Review, Journal of African History, and Mande Studies, in addition to several private clients.

When did you start indexing? When did you join ASI?
I started indexing in the early 90s, when I took the USDA correspondence courses. My first index was created using index cards. I joined ASI at that time, but for several years I indexed part-time and let my membership lapse. I renewed my membership about 10 or 12 years ago and have been active (off and on co-president) in the Heartland Chapter since then.
For you, what is the best advantage of ASI membership?
There are lots of advantages—foremost among them is the friendship and camaraderie I have enjoyed from my association with the Heartland Chapter. I was working full-time and indexing part-time on the side, and one day I realized that with a little effort, I could probably get my indexing business to the point where I could quit my day job. The Chicago—Great Lakes Chapter was having a weekend workshop around that time, and one of their sessions was on building your indexing business. I flew up to Chicago for the day and attended Madge Walls’ excellent presentation. One of the suggestions she made was to get involved with your local chapter.

Not too long after that I got a phone call from Devon Thomas, asking if I would consider running for chapter co-president. I had been a Heartland Chapter member for several years on paper but had never attended a meeting. But, remembering Madge’s suggestion, I said, “sure!” I have served as chapter co-president and president on and off for quite a few years now, and it has been very rewarding.

Also, I always get jobs from my Indexer Locator listing––more than enough to pay for the listing. Some of them generate referrals and repeat assignments, so it is a worthwhile investment. Plus, being able to use the ASI logo in my email signature lends credibility and professionalism to my correspondence with first-time clients. People who are looking for an indexer almost always find the ASI website; I have been amazed at the diversity of clients I have acquired that way.

Did You Know?

More than twenty reference books specific to indexing are available (many in ebook form) from ASI’s official publisher, Information Today, Inc.

Topics range from the general (Handbook of Indexing Techniques) to the very specific (Indexing Specialties: Psychology), and several provide practical information for starting and running an indexing business. Many titles are authored by ASI members, and all are available at a special discount for ASI members here.

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