The Yorkshire Group meets at least four times a year. The annual programme usually includes a peer review, a business-related session, a social or indexing-relevant visit and our AGM followed by a Christmas meal. The group includes experienced and new indexers as well as students. It is a welcoming and friendly group offering members support and encouragement as well as opportunities for continued professional development. All SI and CIEP members are welcome from near and far.
The Yorkshire Group runs a discussion forum that is open to all members of the Society.
For further information, please contact the Yorkshire group coordinator: [email protected]
2nd December 2021
A social Zoom in which we’ll also plan our activities for 2022.
7 October 2021
Ruth Ellis facilitated a Zoom discussion about subheadings, attended by another five people. Although bread-and-butter to indexers, it’s always worth revisiting such ‘basics’ from time to time, to reflect on our own practices, have things we’d rather taken for granted challenged, and to be exposed to new approaches to challenging texts. This meeting also provided the perfect opportunity for us to share tricky headings/subheading structures that any of us were dealing with in live commissions – even if there generally wasn’t complete agreement as to the best way to solve them! (As ever, the session demonstrated that indexing is highly subjective.)
16 June 2021
Seven people got together via Zoom. Although technically a ‘social’ meeting to take the place of our cancelled (again) trip to Shibden Hall, as it was hot on the heels of the ASI and ISC/SCI virtual confereces which some of us had attended, we compared notes on how we found them and what we’d learned. We also talked about some of the more interesting indexing commissions that had passed our desks recently. However as by now (some year and a half into the pandemic) everyone was comfortable using Zoom, the general conversation flowed very easily, and two ours had passed before we knew it.
Mel Gee hosted another online peer review exercise, again open to all SI members (students being warmly encouraged to join in). By way of light relief, we chose ‘Three Men in a Boat’ by Jerome K. Jerome as our text and indexed a short excerpt. Of the fourteen people who compiled an index to the text, most hadn’t indexed fiction, or humour, before, but we thoroughly enjoyed having a go and letting our hair down a little – including deliberately breaking certain indexing rules just for the fun of it. The discussion ran for around a month, and Paula Clarke Bain has provided an engaging report of the exercise (and a comparison of our indexes from a ‘real’ published index to the book) in the September 2021 issue of The Indexer.
3rd December 2020
Our regular December haunt of ASK in the Assembly Rooms, York was replaced by a Zoom call. Seven people participated in what was largely a social gathering, although indexing matters were naturally discussed, notably the proposed Fellowship model for SI members. We decided a provisional programme of events for 2021, including another forum-based peer review and a session on subheadings. We very much hoped to be able to visit Shibden Hall in the summer.
Our planned session on ‘speeding up and making a decent hourly rate’ had to go virtual. As with the peer review session in May 2020, Mel Gee opened this up to all SI members and interest was sufficiently great for her to run two Zoom session, one in October and one in December, with eight people present in each. As well as obvious time management strategies common to many areas of work, we discussed less obvious strategies, such as reading/skimming ahead to get an idea of the shape of the text and the relative importance of different topics and so on, rather than just launching into the actual indexing process. (Something that is counter-intuitive when you are striving for efficiency.) We also discussed how our (home) work environment can influence our efficiency, and the importance of taking part in CPD activities such as learning how indexing software can help us work smarter. We also talked about factors that influence our decision to accept or reject any particular indexing commission: sometimes speed isn’t everything.
30 June 2020
Our planned activity was to continue the Anne Lister theme and visit Shibden Hall, but this had to be cancelled. Instead four Yorkshire Group members enjoyed a social Zoom meeting, chatting for about an hour.
Having had to cancel our planned in-person peer review exercise in March, we took the exercise online and Mel Gee hosted a virtual peer review exercise, run on the Yorkshire Group discussion forum but open to anyone, regardless of Yorkshire connections. Thirteen people contributed. The exercise was based on the short publication Anne Lister of Shibden Hall. Unusually for a peer review exercise, our chosen publication wasn’t freely available, however a few of us had managed to purchase a copy and we had a handful of indexes to talk about. As we frequently wandered away from the details of this particular publication to discuss more general indexing concerns, people could (and did) join in even if they hadn’t read the booklet. The exercise ran for around a month and participants and ‘lurkers’ alike reported that they found it enjoyable and informative.