Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing (The)

Patterns and hidden meanings: the dawn of automated indexing

Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing (The) (2011), 29, (1), 19–22.

Abstract

Rudy Hirschmann discusses the earliest uses of computers in the creation of indexes and concordances. Although they differ significantly from current tools of same name, they nevertheless spurred studies that would have been impossible without them. Further, they are, in fact, the ancient ancestors of the tools used by indexers today. The article recounts the discovery of a stunning example of symmetrical composition and a proposed use of computers to discover other such examples. The first-generation computer-generated index plays a central role in this detective story, yet to be resolved. The article concludes with observations about the computer-based tools now in use in the indexing profession.

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Author details

Hirschmann, Rudy