OP4: Indexing newspapers

Geraldine Beare, Indexing newspapers, magazines and other periodicals (Society of Indexers Occasional Paper 4)

ISBN 1 871577 19 5; vii + 56 pp

Available in the SI-Shop

A practical, accessible and interesting guide, this paper is full of useful — and often entertaining — examples. It is an invaluable resource for librarians, archivists, indexers and others wishing to gain insight into this area of indexing. After a brief history of newspapers, the main section of this paper provides a detailed explanation of newspaper indexing, including the thorny problems of indexing headlines, terminology change over time, location reference styles, and the indexing of non-text materials, such as photographs, illustrations, cartoons and adverts. The following section covers magazines and other types of periodicals, including journal indexing, multi-journal indexing and sound and moving-image indexes. There is a comprehensive bibliography.

The author

Geraldine Beare compiled the Index to the Strand Magazine (1891–1950) and an index to all the images in Punch (1890–1970). She has indexed several hundred books on a variety of topics and takes a keen interest in newspaper and journal indexing, talking and writing extensively on the subject.


  • Geraldine Beare, with her usual lucidity, covers all possible ways to approach these complicated but fascinating media.  (The Indexer, April 2000)
  • This useful little book should find a place in all libraries interested in indexing the contents of their newspapers and periodicals. (Diana Dixon, in The Library Association Record, Jan 2001)
    For anyone interested in getting into either newspaper or periodical indexing … an invaluable addition to their library. (Max McMaster, in the Australian Society of Indexers Newsletter, Nov 2000)
  • …a useful overview of points to consider… (Sue Lightfoot, in Copyright, April 2000)