Indexing and the News

As the end of an eventful year approaches, I find myself reflecting on one inescapable fact:  Indexing may not always make the news, but news events have definitely been known to lead to indexing.  As a case in point, South African civil rights leader Nelson Mandela, who played an instrumental role in defeating apartheid, died Thursday, December 5 at the age of 95.  Following swiftly on the heels of that event, a publisher sent word that revisions were underway for a children’s biography on the famous leader.  As part of the process, the index would need revisions and additions to cover the new material that the publisher anticipated adding.  Accordingly, this past month has seen me busy with the Mandela indexing project, along with other work.  By early next year, children around the country will hopefully have the opportunity to read a new, up to date indexed biography that will open their eyes to South Africa’s history, its hard-won progress, and the vital contributions made by one man.

Speaking of news events, in my previous post I reported on recent troubling developments in Egypt.  Word had reached people around the world — including the southern Arizona location this indexer calls home  — of civil unrest that erupted into museum vandalism, with numerous ancient artifacts removed or destroyed.  Developments since then, however, give one grounds for hope.  This indexer, at least, has not been aware of any new reports of museum vandalism in Egypt since August of this year.  Meanwhile, the University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition (UAEE) has nearly completed its excavation of Pharaoh-Queen Tausret’s temple, a site that has fortunately escaped the looting occurring elsewhere in Egypt.  In addition, new discoveries have been made, among them three caves north of the temple that once served as tombs. Those connected with UAEE look forward to excavating those sites in 2014.

Meanwhile, back in Tucson Arizona, in January 2013 UAEE moved into a new facility that, among other things, houses a library.  UAEE is now in the process of adding book titles to a searchable catalog.  Friends of UAEE should find this a valuable tool when making use of the library and archive.

Speaking of books, UAEE just published — you guessed it — the title I indexed earlier this year.  Archaeological Research in the Valley of the Kings and Ancient Thebes: Papers Presented in Honor of Richard H. Wilkinson, covering new discoveries and current research as well as historic data and developments, is now available on Amazon.  Moreover, this volume is only the first one anticipated as part of the “Wilkinson Egyptology Series.”  So who knows?  Maybe further developments in Egypt — hopefully developments of a positive nature — will help pave the way for further indexing opportunities.

Here’s wishing both indexers and readers a happy 2014!


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