2017 Ewart-Daveluy Award Recipient: Judy Dunlop

Congratulations to Judy Dunlop on receiving the 2017 Ewart-Daveluy Indexing Award!

Judy Dunlop was presented with the Ewart-Daveluy Award for Excellence in Indexing at the awards banquet of the Indexing Society of Canada in Montréal on 2 June 2017. The award honours Judy’s indexing of One Child Reading: My Auto-Bibliography by Margaret Mackey, published by the University of Alberta Press.

One Child Reading is a unique and fascinating examination of reading and literacy development. Author Margaret Mackey revisits the things she read, viewed, listened to and wrote as she grew up in the 1950s and 1960s in Newfoundland. Her reading included school texts, knitting patterns, musical scores, games, church bulletins, family magazines and hundreds of books. In One Child Reading, Mackey weaves her growing literacy and social consciousness with the books of her childhood and youth and the history of the time and place.

The indexer’s challenge was to combine in one comprehensive, cohesive index the three aspects of the book: the author’s memories, the theoretical discussion and the analysis of specific texts. In addition to standard terminology to cover off the biographical details, the indexer had to incorporate the sometimes unique terms the author created for the textual criticism and social analysis. As one judge noted, “This is an indexer who’s not afraid to directly express the language of the text … and also to use some ingenuity in handling sections like the distinction between a subject in theory vs. its relation to the author’s life.” Said another, “The index is wonderfully fulsome and narrative, and brief and concise—quite a feat.”  “There are some lovely discoverables in this index,” said the third. The author herself was “awestruck” by the “sensitivity of [the indexer’s] reading.”

An excerpt of the index is available here, with permission courtesy of the University of Alberta Press.

2017 Conference concludes

The 2017 conference was a success. Reports are to come.

In the meantime, here is a photo of some happy ISC/SCI Conference Attendees

Left to Right: Anna Oliver, Noeline Bridge, Christine Jacobs, Alex Peace, Judy Dunlop, Heather Ebbs, Margaret de Boer (Photo: Elizabeth Huyer)

2017 Tamarack Award: JoAnne Burek

Many of our members volunteer in various capacities, however one person in particular stood out this past year.  At our awards banquet in Montreal on June 2, JoAnne Burek was honoured as our 2017 Tamarack award recipient .

JoAnne is deserving of this award for many reasons: JoAnne has a “yes, I’ll do that” work ethic and has shown dedication in improving the experience of members in our Society. In her creative and skilful style, she has crafted compelling and well-researched promotion pieces for our Society. She has taken the time to be present at events in order to promote the benefits of ISC/SCI. Finally, JoAnne continues with the detailed assignment of our website renewal project.

We are honoured to have JoAnne as a member of our Society. Congratulations to her!

Magpie Pins for Sale

ISC/SCI Magpie PinAt the ISC/SCI annual general meeting and conference in June 2009, Katherine Barber, founding editor-in-chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary department of Oxford University Press, gave a fascinating talk on the history of the word “magpie” and what it has to do with indexing.

The magpie-indexing connection

The English language is flavoured by the many cultures that have held sway in that country over the course of time: Celts, Saxons, Romans, Vikings, French, and that motley crew of people known as “English”.

The French tended to squish Latin words that came into the language by removing consonants. So the Latin “pica” (magpie) became “pia” in French and then “pie” in English. We added “mag” so that now we have “magpie” to refer to the bird that collects bits and pieces of this and that to take to its nest, much as indexers take pieces of the book and put them in their index nest. So indexers are like human magpies.

The pie we eat is related, because pies began as a collection of many foods baked together in a crust. Reference books of feast days, themselves not unlike indexes, were also called “pies”, possibly because the black ink on white pages was reminiscent of the bird’s colouring.

One last surprising connection between indexes and magpies. A type of geographical index is a gazetteer. The word is derived from “gazette”, a 17th-century tabloid-style newspaper sold in Venice for a gazeta (penny), a word derived from gazza. You guessed it: gazza is Italian for magpie.

How to buy the pins

You will be able to buy them at local meetings and the national AGM and conference, and you can also order them by mail. For the last, shipping costs will comprise the price of a small bubble-wrap envelope and whatever Canada Post charges to mail to your area of the world; for specifics, and to order, contact Heather Ebbs.

2016 Ewart-Daveluy Award Recipient: Mary Newberry

Mary Newberry was presented with the Ewart-Daveluy Award for Indexing Excellence at the awards banquet of the joint conference of the Indexing Society of Canada (ISC) and American Society for Indexing (ASI) in Chicago, IL, on 16 June 2016. The award honours Mary’s indexing of The Letterbooks of John Evelyn, volumes 1 and 2, edited by Douglas D.C. Chambers and David Galbraith and published by University of Toronto Press.

The Letterbooks of John Evelyn is a two-volume work with 1,150 pages and almost 900 letters between Evelyn and his 315 correspondents. John Evelyn, FRS, was an English writer, gardener and diarist of the late 1600s. His diaries are the usual source material for scholars, but like his diaries, Evelyn’s letters cast considerable light on the art, culture and politics of the time.

Making this letterbook material accessible to scholars was the job of the indexer, but it was not an easy job. The sheer volume of the material was one issue; another was the archaic diction and writing style of the seventeenth century. A third was the need to serve the scholars who were undoubtedly already familiar with the extensive index created for the 1955 publication of Evelyn’s diaries and would expect some correlation, while also serving modern indexing standards and user expectations. Interestingly, the index is not only printed in the books themselves but is also available online in clickable format. Despite these and other complications, Mary created a comprehensive index that demonstrates outstanding indexing expertise, analytical competence and index design skill. More than that, it exemplifies the index as a work of art.

An excerpt of the index is available here, courtesy of the University of Toronto Press.

Mary Newberry also received the 2016 Tamarack Award, for her services to the Society.

2015 Ewart-Daveluy Award Recipient: François Trahan

2015 Ewart-Daveluy Award Recipient: François Trahan

For Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge, by Nancy J. Turner, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press. This two-volume ethnobotanical work reflects forty years of research into the people-plant interrelationships of the First Nations in British Columbia. The two indexes can be viewed here.