Online tutorial report: SIOT 21

Nine of us took part in this tutorial during August 2017 under the tutelage of Jan Worrall, and we ranged in experience from Module B to PIA. The document to be indexed was a booklet describing the activities of the British Red Cross during the First World War.

The text contained references to many different categories of Red Cross personnel, and to many different hospitals and other place names. How best to structure some of these categories of entry was a key aspect of the discussion phase. The set topics also focused on approaches to one of the main themes running through the document.

Along the way, additional valuable advice was given on the composition of introductions, on place names and the names of aristocracy, on the positioning of entries beginning with numbers, on cross references versus double entry, and on the indexing of illustrations (of which the text contained several).

The combination of an intense two week period of indexing, followed by a further two weeks of analysing and questioning the decisions and assumptions made, all backed by detailed guidance from Jan, made this a very worthwhile exercise. It was also interesting to hear multiple differing perspectives on the topics at hand – and rather enjoyable to be part of an exercise that brought people together across many different locations.

Rob Gibson