From Flock Beds to Professionalism: A History of Index-Makers by Hazel K. Bell
Oak Knoll Press, US, 2008 (ISBN 978-1-58456-228-3) $95.00
HKB Press, UK, 2008 (ISBN 978-0-9552503-4-7) £49.00
340 pp., hardcover
Order it from Oak Knoll Books or from or from HKB Press
or from Amazon UK or from Amazon US
Nancy Mulvany: "It is difficult to express the breadth of this book. .. Hazel Bell has embraced the profession of indexing and made it visible and entertaining. She serves indexers well." — LOGOS
From the publisher's blurb:
is an anonymous profession. An index may be praised
or blamed, but rarely is the indexer named, lauded or
shamed," laments Professor David Crystal in his
preface to From Flock Beds to Professionalism. This
book, however, initiates a change.
Hazel Bell presents here brief biographies of 65 individual practitioners, the makers of indexes, from the fifteenth to the twentieth century, considering their working methods, techniques, training, remuneration, their lives and their personalities. Crystal observes, "Although it is the history of indexing which governs the structure of the book, it is the personalities of the indexers themselves which shine through it ... I was unprepared for the range, diversity and sheer brilliance of the personalities lying behind the names."
biographical section on the "Lone Workers," Bell
outlines in "Banding Together" the history of groups
and societies of indexers world-wide up to 1995, the
year she sees as entailing the end of print-only
indexing. The book includes photographs of indexers
and of their tokens of recognition.
Hazel Bell has been a freelance indexer since 1964, having compiled to date more than 700 indexes to books and journals, and won the Wheatley Medal for an outstanding index in both 2005 and 2006. She has been a member of the Society of Indexers for 44 years, serving on its Council as editor of its journal, The Indexer, for 18 of them. In 1997, she was presented by the Society with the Carey Award for services to indexing. She has written many articles for The Indexer and other learned journals. Bell is the author of Indexers and Indexes in Fact and Fiction (British Library/University of Toronto Press, 2001) and Indexing Biographies and Other Stories of Human Lives (Society of Indexers, 3rd edition 2004). Co-published with HKB Press.
I can't wait to read it, Hazel, it sounds wonderful!