Wheatley’s books

To celebrate the centenary in 2002 of Henry B. Wheatley’s book How to make an index, a limited run of facsimile editions of both this book and his earlier work What is an index? were published. Henry Wheatley was the first secretary and a prime mover behind the Index Society, founded in 1877. The Index Society eventually merged with the British Record Society which now has no direct links with the Society of Indexers. The Wheatley Medal was named in honour of H. B. Wheatley.

Both publications are available in the online SI-Shop, including a special offer when purchasing both books

What is an index? A few notes on indexes and indexers. First published 1879. London: Longmans, Green & Co., for the Index Society. 2002, 132 pp.

How to make an index. First published 1902. London: Elliot Stock. 2002, 236 pp.

Some comments from reviewers:

“… here is the very spirit in which we all work brought to life…, packed with reminders of how to do the job well.”  SIdelights (2001)

“There is no Victorian fustiness or fussiness of style. The writing is direct and entertaining, with not a little humour. This from a man born in 1838, whose life was worlds away from the electronic aids and instant communications we use now.” The Indexer (2002)

These extracts from the index to How to make an index give a flavour of the text:

Boswell’s Life of Johnson, Boswell’s own index, 109
—— Dr Birkbeck Hill’s admirable index to his edition, 105

Bromley’s (William) Travels, ill-natured index made to them by Dr King, 44

Bruce’s (John) edition of History of Edward IV., absurd filling up of initials J. C., 78

Cattle see Clergy

Chastity see Homicide

Coke (Lord Chief Justice), an inaccurate man, 101

Death see Appeal

Election see Bribery

Envelopes as safe receptables for index slips, 182, 189

Gum an unsatisfactory material for laying down slips, 189

Indexer, chief characteristics of a good indexer, 116; difference of opinion as to whether the indexer is “born, not made,””not born, but made,” or “born and made,” 114; power in his hands, 93

Indices, objections to the use of this plural in English, 11

Jews generally wore red hats in Italy, but not at Leghorn, 51

Thrub-chandler, Bung of a, 73