At its AGM on 14 November 2023, the Society of Indexers was delighted to award three new Honorary Life Memberships. Honorary Life Memberships are limited to ten at any one time, and are awarded for having rendered exceptional service to the Society or to the advancement of good indexing.
The awards were made to three longstanding Society members:
Ann has been indexing for over 30 years. She has been extensively involved in teaching indexing through workshops and tutorials. She was Training Course Co-ordinator from 2001 to 2013; she later served as Training Director on the Executive Board between 2015 and 2021 and chaired the Training Course Committee. Ann worked to develop the Training in Indexing course and helped it achieve the CILIP Seal of Recognition; she also helped steer it from a paper-based to an online course, as well as managing its development to keep up to date with new technology and demands from publishers. In 2020, she wrote an article on the history of the Training Course for The Indexer.
Through her workshops, Ann has provided exceptional opportunities for indexers to improve and practise their skills. These have included workshops for beginners, putting theory into practice, historical subjects, the tricky subject of making indexes easy to use, how to approach a text, editing indexes, and deciding if something is essential or trivial. She has encouraged members to improve their skills, and supported achieving Fellowship as something that indexers should work towards. Ann has, of course, been a frequent contributor to Society conferences, running seminars and workshops and attending to make new contacts.
Ann has helped develop an approach to indexing archaeological and local society journals that has influenced many who work in this area, and written for The Indexer on this topic.
Ann has taken a keen interest in members of the Society, helping people to develop through both formal and informal sessions. She has a great memory for people and has contributed to many recent obituaries of Society members. She also takes part in local group activities in her area.
Ann won the Carey Award in 2009, but did not rest on her laurels and continued to contribute significantly to the Society, the Training Course and has been supportive of many new indexers. She is the Co-ordinator for the pre-qualification indexing assignment and runs the regular History and the Past Zoom discussions for Society members. She has also helped promote the Society and the understanding of indexing in the publishing sector through her workshops for editors and other publishing professionals.
Ann Kingdom has over 40 years’ experience as an indexer. She has been an active member of the Society for much of that time. She has served in several committee and board roles including Marketing Director, Honorary Secretary, and Chair of the Executive Board.
Ann has worked extensively to make sure the Society is working for the members and to get new members involved in its work. She has managed and delivered many different projects and events to these ends, including running, evaluating and reporting on surveys regarding fees, conferences, and issues; these surveys have shaped and informed Society activities and policies over the years. Ann has been involved in local group activities in Yorkshire for many years. She has also played a key part in the organisation of conferences over the years, both at home and overseas, liaising with sister societies. Ann’s outreach activities to promote indexing and the Society include speaking at Society of Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP now CIEP) conferences, to university students at University College London, at the Sheffield literary festival, and in a wider forum representing indexers in a panel at the London Book Fair. Ann has used her library background to liaise with the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and her editing background to work with CIEP.
Now, as assistant editor of The Indexer andin the international forum for indexing societies, ICRIS, Ann continues to make an exceptional contribution to the Society and to the profession of indexing.
Jan undertook the SI training course and became an accredited indexer in 1999, achieving Fellowship status in 2006. Jan was co-opted onto the Executive Board in 2008, serving up to 2014 as Professional Development Director. In this role she was part of the Professional Status Working Party who reviewed the membership structure of the society. In 2009 she became chair of the Training Course Committee. Between 2013 and 2021, she was responsible for maintenance and delivery of the training course. During this time, she oversaw the development and implementation of new editions of the course (4th and 5th); the introduction of new content to keep the course up to date; and developed additional material on embedded indexing. She has delivered ‘Introduction to Indexing’ workshops and many online tutorials.
Jan was awarded the Bernard Levin award in 2017, and since then she has continued to be responsible for the training course and latterly developing the revised Fellowship scheme. She has taken the trouble to understand the difficulties and opportunities that embedded indexing presents, and to communicate them to members and the wider publishing world. She contributed a session on embedded indexing to both of the National Indexing Day events for editors in 2018 and 2019, and gave a conference presentation on the same subject at the Lancaster conference in 2018. In 2019, Jan returned to the Executive Board to become CPD and Fellowship Director, leading to the launch of the new Fellowship scheme in 2022. In the meantime, she also developed a new e-indexing workshop, which launched in 2020.
Jan supported the introduction of the New Professionals email group to help and advise newly qualified indexers in the first two years of their careers. She has always provided thoughtful support and encouragement to students and the newly qualified, and is an active member of her local group.