Re: Simsville and the Jarrah Mill - forthcoming LRRSA book


Sorry, Eddie, but I can't agree.  I find an index essential in any serious work and use such regularly.  The index in the LRRSA's latest book, Frank Stamford's 'The McIvor Timber & Firewood Company', is a good example of what is needed.  Perhaps Frank will advise on what process he used to create the index.

Richard Horne

From: "Eddie Oliver eoliver@... [LRRSA]"
To: LRRSA@...
Sent: Friday, 12 September 2014, 8:07
Subject: Re: [LRRSA] Simsville and the Jarrah Mill - forthcoming LRRSA book

Does anyone actually use indexes in books such as this? I literally cannot remember the last time I did so.

But if one does have a need, why would a computer-generated one not serve the purpose?

Perhaps my perception is prejudiced by the fact that I have seen very few indexes that could even remotely be deemed to meet Peter's requirement to record the location of 'ideas' - and there is also the problem that the indexer's way of 'coding' the 'ideas' may not correspond with how a user does so.

On 12/09/2014 16:40, 'Peter Knife' pjknife@... [LRRSA] wrote:

Having been through the exercise several times, I totally agree with the introduction to indexing in Adobe’s InDesign documentation:
“Sitting down and indexing a book is the most painful, horrible, mind-numbing activity you could ever wish on your worst enemy. And yet, where this is the kind of task that a computer should be great at, it’s actually impossible for a computer to do a good job of indexing a book by itself. A good index requires careful thought, an understanding of the subject matter, and an ability to keep the whole project in your head at all times. In short, it requires comprehension.”  Then later, talking about a computer-generated index: “This is not an index; it’s a concordance. A concordance records the location of words; an index records the location of ideas.”
A software-generated index can provide a bit of a starting point for a simple book, but requires a fair bit of manual intervention to come up with something useful. To create a really good index, a “meaty” volume really needs to be indexed manually by someone who understands the subject.
Getting off my soapbox now J
From: LRRSA@... [mailto:LRRSA@...]
Sent: Friday, 12 September 2014 1:00 PM
To: LRRSA@...
Subject: Re: [LRRSA] Simsville and the Jarrah Mill - forthcoming LRRSA book
I recently had a book published and the people who put the book together used an indexing program. It wasn't perfect and needed tweaking, but helped greatly to move the project along.
I have just goggled "Book indexing software"and there are a few options there.
Hope this helps,
Geoff Potter
On Friday, 12 September 2014, 11:33, "frank.stamford@... [LRRSA]" wrote:
Hello all,

The next book to be published by the LRRSA will be "Simmsville and the Jarrah Mill", by Ian McNeil. It describes the timber milling operations and 3ft 6 in gauge timber tramways centered on Simsville, near Port Stephens on the New South Wales lower north coast.

The book will be of 96 pages A4 size, and the design and layout is ready for the printer - except that it still needs an index.

Do we have any volunteers prepared to undertake the task of indexing this book?

There are two other books in the queue waiting behind this book, and if we can find a volunteer to index Simsville, it will help to bring the other two closer to the printer. One of these books relates to Tasmania, and the other to New South Wales.



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