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East Midlands Local Group

2016 Diary Dates

Saturday, July 2nd - Social meeting at I Should Cocoa in Belper at 11 am

Past Meetings


Friday, February 26th - Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Ann Shooter, Mickleover Methodist Church, Derby



Saturday, December 12th - History walk round Belper followed by AGM and Christmas Lunch

Three of us met at I Should Cocoa (yes, they do specialise in chocolate!) in Belper for coffee, followed by a history walk round the town, conducted by Sally. Unfortunately, the weather was not kind to us, and a rather cold and bedraggled trio arrived at the Lion Hotel for our AGM and Christmas Lunch, where we were joined by Ann Shooter. Our spirits were revived by a tasty meal and lively conversation. Little did we realise that this would be the last time we would see Ann, as she died of cancer in early February.


Saturday, October 31st  - General discussion at Caroline's house

Caroline made us very welcome for our general chat (and some moans!) about the state of indexing. Five of us gathered - a good turnout. We brought packed lunches and Caroline kindly provided coffee and cookies.


Saturday, July 4th - SKY help session

 Four of us met at Sally's house for a very useful help session on SKY (which Ann had recently acquired). Everyone benefitted from learning some new tips and tricks. The session was followed by a tasty lunch provided by Sally.



Saturday, December 6th  - AGM and Christmas Lunch, Derby Cathedral Centre 


Monday, September 29th  - Resources session

Sally's house was again the venue for four of us to spend a useful session sharing information about helpful resources. These included the SI (of course!); local resources, such Derbyshire Library Services; searching Google more effectively; Amazon's 'look inside' feature; the Hansard web site; and dealing with diacritics.

Sally Phillips


Monday, June 16th  - Problems and Solutions session

Five of us met at the Derby Cathedral Centre. Our topic was 'Problems and Solutions'. We started off discussing publishers. The main problems mentioned were fees and turnaround time. We then went on the working directly for authors, where the problems were limited budget, no knowledge of indexing and ego. The main payments problems were cheques (as opposed to electronic payment) and foreign currency payments. For indexing itself, we discussed reducing the number of times we handle the material, identifying structure and relationships and, finally, embedded indexing. We also discussed finding new clients.

The discussion was quite lively, and everyone had stories to tell and contributions to make. It was very helpful to discover different approaches to problems we all encounter.

After the meeting, three of us stayed on to enjoy lunch at the Centre.

Caroline Jones


Monday, March 17th - Peer Review session

Four of us met at Sally's house on 17th March for a peer review session. The text chosen was Valuing Places: Good Practice in Conservation Areas, published by English Heritage. This led to some useful discussion on, among other things, dealing with illustrations, names of churches, references to other documents, choice of headings and depth of indexing. It was interesting to compare our different approaches to the document.

Sally provided a delicious lunch, and we thank her for her hospitality.

Ann Shooter



Saturday, December 7th  - AGM and Christmas Lunch at Derby Cathedral Centre

Three members met for the second AGM of the East Midlands Group.

We reviewed the meetings that we have had this year: the Peer Review in a snowy March and the trip to Lichfield in September. The number of members attending meetings remains low; however it is a reasonable percentage of the total number of members of the East Midlands e-mail list.

The difficulties of venues for, and timing of, meetings for the coming year were then discussed in some detail. We have taken into account school holidays, other groups' meetings and the Conference in picking provisional dates. We are going to build some flexibility into the weekday or Saturday dilemma. The provisional dates are Saturdays, however in the weeks before the meetings a reminder will be posted to the list with the option of moving the date to a weekday.

Chris Bailey


Saturday, September 7th  - visit to Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum, Lichfield

We met at a coffee shop in the centre of Lichfield to begin our day. We spent a couple of hours at the Johnson Birthplace Museum, enjoying the excellent guided tour given by David Titley. Johnson's life was full of adversity and it is much to his credit that he made such good use of his talents in the circumstances.

Johnson used many works of literature as source material for his famous dictionary. He would underline the words in the texts and make notes in the margin that would be transcribed into suitable entries. The similarities to indexing are clear and we were pleased to see the entry for 'index' in a copy of the dictionary.

After lunch by the Cathedral we had a walking tour of historic Lichfield, which Sally conducted with aplomb. Thankfully the weather had been kind to us all day.

Chris Bailey 


Saturday, 23rd March - Peer review

Despite the snowy conditions, four intrepid East Midland indexers met at Sally Phillips’s house in Duffield for a peer review and lunch. The text used was a combination of web pages from the British Museum and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism giving the two sides of the Parthenon Sculptures debate.

There was some debate about how to index the repetitions of information and also how to treat some of the emotive language used in order for the index to remain unbiased.

Further discussions included: the indexing of titles of books and articles; the merits of indexing programmes; publishers’ tests and locator spans.

Tips were passed on concerning searching PDFs and Amazon’s ‘Look Inside’ facility.

Pauline Buckle



Saturday, 15th December - AGM and Christmas Meal, Derby Cathedral Centre

Four members attended the first AGM for the East Midlands Group, apologies received from Caroline and Lucy.

We reviewed the past meetings in March, May and September, noticing that meetings on a Saturday generally had greater attendance.  It was decided that events would be arranged for a Saturday, venue/activity allowing, for the coming year.  A similar patter of meetings to this year was decided.

During the past year, eight different members have attended meetings.  We hope to build the numbers attending in the coming year.  Contacting potential members via email will be looked into.

Chris Bailey


Saturday, September 29th - Peer review, Loughborough University library, Loughborough

Six members met at Loughborough University for lunch and a peer review session.  Our text was "Aspects of British Postal History", which is comprised of leaflets from the British Postal Museum and Archive.  We discussed some of the problems and questions we had come up with while indexing the text.  This led on to discussion of other problems which have come up while indexing texts for clients.  Some of the problems had to do with indexing rules, some with indexing software, some with various aspects of texts, and some with client guidelines.  It was a very useful discussion, and I think all of us learned from it.

We are now looking forward to our Christmas lunch in December.  We will be reviewing what we have done in 2012 (our first year) and planning our meetings for 2013.  Anyone who would like to be a part of the group is most welcome to join us for lunch and to have an input into next year's schedule.

Caroline Jones


Monday, May 14th - Marketing and Problems discussion, Harvester, Derby

Four East Midlands Group indexers met for lunch at the Harvester pub in Derby.  Despite the intrusive music, we had some fruitful discussions.

We considered several aspects of marketing, including: using networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (there was some doubt about the usefulness of these; the subsequent leaking of LinkedIn passwords has not helped); to whom at publishers marketing information should be sent, the frequency and the format (opinion was split between e-mail and snail mail); and setting up one's own website.  One member had brought an iPad which led to an interesting debate on the extent to which new technology will supplant traditional methods of disseminating information.

Finally, we shared some tricky situations we had been in with editors and authors, such as being asked to include specific words and dealing with slipped timings; we explained how these had been resolved, and gained some sympathy from the other members!

I am sure that we all benefited from this opportunity to meet fellow indexers in an informal setting, and new members are most welcome.

Sally Phillips


Saturday, March 17th - "Setting up your own website" discussion, Derby Cathedral Centre  

Six members attended our inaugral meeting.  We discussed websites, and it was decided that the group would like to host the SI workshop on websites later in the year.  It was also a good chance to get to know each other, and have some social time over lunch.

Caroline Jones


Email discussion list

If you are a member of the Society, you can subscribe to the East Midlands Group discussion list

Further information

For further information, please contact the group coordinator:

Sally Phillips


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Five of us met at the Derby Cathedral Café. Our topic was “Problems and Solutions”. We started off discussing Publishers. The main problems mentioned were fees and turnaround time. We then went on to Working Directly for Authors, where the problems were limited budget, no knowledge of indexing and ego. The main Payments problems were cheques (as opposed to electronic payment) and foreign currency payments. For Indexing itself, we discussed reducing the number of times we handle the material, identifying structure and relationships and, and, finally, embedded indexing. We also discussed Finding New Clients.

The discussion was quite lively, and everyone had stories to tell and contributions to make. It was very helpful to discover different approaches to problems we all encounter. After the meeting, three of us stayed on to enjoy lunch at the Café. The next meeting is to be in September, time and place yet to be decided.

Caroline Jones

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