The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing

The world’s oldest profession: indexing?

The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing (2011), 29, (4), 161–165.

Abstract

A closer look at the 3,000-year-old I Ching, or Book of changes, from China, yields some surprising conclusions about the origins of indexing. This ancient book of hexagrams contains the world’s oldest table of contents and index.

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Wilhelm, R. (1977) The I Ching: or Book of changes, 3rd edn. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. The I Ching: or Book of changes Google Scholar

American Psychological Association. Psychological Abstracts (1980s print editions, continued by PsychINFO database since 2006). Google Scholar

Bell, H. (2001) ‘The history of indexes’ in Indexers and indexes in fact and fiction. London: British Library/University of Toronto Press. The history of indexes Indexers and indexes in fact and fiction Google Scholar

Bell, H. (2008) From flock beds to professionalism: a history of index makers. New Castle, Del.: Oak Knoll/HDB Press. From flock beds to professionalism: a history of index makers Google Scholar

Cleveland, D. and Cleveland, A. (2001) ‘Coordinate indexes’ in Introduction to indexing and abstracting, 3rd edn. Englewood, Colo.: Libraries Unlimited. Coordinate indexes Introduction to indexing and abstracting Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Knight, G. N. (1979) Indexing, the art of. London: George Allen & Unwin. Guidelines for the content, organization and presentation of indexes Indexing, the art of Google Scholar

Mulvany, N. (2009) Review of Bell (2008), Amazon.com, 15 February. Available at: www.amazon.com/review/R1X5B2SX77MKBN (accessed September 8, 2011). Google Scholar

Ranganathan, S. R. (1951) Philosophy of library classification. Copenhagen: E. Munksgaard. Philosophy of library classification Google Scholar

Wellisch, H. H. (2000) Glossary of terminology in abstracting, classification, indexing, and thesaurus construction, 2nd edn. Medford, N.J.: Information Today. Glossary of terminology in abstracting, classification, indexing, and thesaurus construction Google Scholar

Wilhelm, R. (1977) The I Ching: or Book of changes, 3rd edn. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. The I Ching: or Book of changes Google Scholar

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Details

Author details

Humphreys, Nancy K.