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.