Monday, November 16, 2015

Manual of Practical Indexing

Archibald Leycester Clarke - Manual of Practical Indexing (1905)

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Unless you work in a library or bookstore the complexities of book organization are probably something like the proverbial iceberg that's only 10% visible.  Indexing is a step further as this turn-of-the-century book shows.  Very detailed descriptions of techniques and ideas range from use in libraries to price catalogs to periodicals, all done with a prose style that's far more complex and literary than what you would get in such a book today.  (In fact there's actually even a digression on style towards the middle.)  A 2nd edition appeared in 1933.

Clarke was a professional librarian (with Royal Society of Medicine) and this appears to have been his only book.  I can find no other information though he may be the same person as Archibald L. Clarke who submitted naturalist notes to Selborne magazine and others during this period.

(By the way, I checked and though there are a lot of variables it's generally true about icebergs and 10% visibility.)