Amanda Stevens | Curious Indexing and Consulting
I fell in love with indexing after taking courses on it in the Master of Library and Information Studies program at Dalhousie University. I promptly started indexing my personal recipe collection, well-used reference books that lacked indexes, and my diaries, as I realized indexes are an incredibly useful tool and a lot of fun to make.
A few years later I started indexing books for publishers and authors in a range of subject areas, including shipwrecks, alternative education, Canadian history and political science, indigenous sovereignty and reconciliation, and reproductive justice. I delight in learning about all kinds of topics and doing the detailed and analytical reading and thinking that is required for effective indexing.
Alongside freelance indexing, I work as a taxonomy and information management consultant, creating controlled vocabularies that are used to guide selection of terminology for indexing and cataloguing and designing organizational systems. This experience and my library studies background gives me a deeper understanding of how different people search for information and how to improve discoverability and accessibility of information with thorough and thoughtful indexing.
While my information management background gives me a core set of skills that can be applied to most subject areas, I have particular experience and interest in radical and social justice-related topics and work that centres marginalized communities, such as people who identify as women, LGBTQ+, indigenous, disabled, or racialized. Selecting the right terminology for this content can be complex, as it must be intuitive for diverse readers, true to the author’s vision, and respectful towards the communities that the content is about. I have developed these skills through leading cataloguing and indexing projects with and for these communities.
In addition to making book indexes for publishers and authors, I work with individuals who want to index personal collections and archives, such as recipe collections, artworks, diaries, letters, personal records, music, and images. I will work with you to understand your goals and create an organizational system for your collection that will allow you to easily find the information you need at any time.
I have excellent communication and project management skills that allow me to effectively manage multiple projects and deliver them within deadlines and specifications.