The Society of Indexers

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The Wheatley Medal

About the Wheatley Medal

The Wheatley Medal was, until 2003, awarded jointly by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and the Society of Indexers, for an outstanding index published in the United Kingdom. Since 2005, the Wheatley Medal has been administered and awarded by the Society of Indexers. Indexes are judged by a panel comprising indexers, academics and library/information professionals. The winning indexer receives a medal, certificate and cash prize. Certificates are also awarded to indexers whose work is commended or highly commended.

Recent winners: read about the Wheatley Medal 2012, Wheatley Medal 2011, Wheatley Medal 2010, Wheatley Medal 2009, the Wheatley Medal 2008 and the Wheatley Medal 2006

The medal is named after Henry Wheatley, founder of the Index Society.

The criteria used by the Wheatley Medal Assessment Panel, as set out in 1978 by Geoffrey Hamilton, are:

  1. If there is an introductory note, it should be clear and well expressed.
  2. The index must be accurate. The location numbers given in the index must tally with the text.
  3. Significant items in the text must appear in the index.
  4. Where related entries in the index are given location references, these must be consistent.
  5. An index must have enough subheadings to avoid strings of undifferentiated location references
  6. An index must be arranged in correct alphabetical or other order.
  7. Items and concepts in the text must be represented in the index by approropriate, well-chosen terms.
  8. The terms must be chosen consistently.
  9. There must be enough cross-references to connect related items in the index.
  10. There must be cross-references to relate out-of-date or idiosyncratic terms in the text to those in current use.
  11. The layout must be clear and help the user.
  12. An index must be comprehensive (though certain limitations on comprehensiveness may be allowable if clearly explained) and neither scanty nor unnecessarily full.
  13. The index should serve the text and not be a vehicle for the indexer’s own views and interests.
  14. If the index departs from conventions, the departures should be explained in the introductory note.
  15. Abbreviations and the like should also be explained.

Winners of the Wheatley Medal

Awards are presented in the year following that when the index was entered, ie the 1962 medal was awarded in 1963. In some years no index was judged suitable for the award.

Year Winner(s) and the title(s) indexed
2012 No award
2011 Caroline Diepeveen, Pierke Bosschieter and Jacqueline Pitchford-Belder
Index to The Encyclopedia of Jews in the  Islamic World (edited by N. Stillman and published by Brill in 2010).
2010 Jan Ross
Index to A J. Zuckerman et al. (eds), Principles and Practice of Clinical Virology (6th edn, Wiley-Blackwell, 2009)
2009 Members of the Einstein Papers Project
(A. J. Kox, Tilman Sauer, Diana Kormos Buchwald, Rudy Hirschmann, Osik Moses, Benjamin Aronin and Jennifer Stolper) for their cumulative index in The collected papers of Albert Einstein, vol. 11: cumulative index (Princeton University Press, 2009)
2008 Barbara Hird
Index to Roger Ellis (ed.), The Oxford History of Literary Translation in English, OUP, 2008.
2007 No award
2006 Hazel Bell
Index to Warwick Gould and Deirdre Toomey (eds), Mythologies by W. B. Yeats. Palgrave Macmillan
2004/05 Hazel Bell
Index to Seven Pillars of Wisdom: the Complete 1922 “Oxford” Text. J & N Wilson
2002/03 Lisa Virgo
Index to Encylopedia of Cognitive Sciences. Nature Publishing
2001/02 Dale H. Hoiberg
Index to Encyclopedia Britannica 2002 revision. Encyclopedia Britannica
2000/01 David Crystal and Hilary Crystal
Index to Words on Words: quotations about language and languages. Penguin
1999 Barbara Hird
Index to Cambridge History of English Medieval Literature. Cambridge University Press
1998 Caroline Sheard
Index to Textbook of Dermatology, 6th ed. Blackwell Science
1997 Janine Ross
Index to Rheumatology. Mosby
1996 Gillian Northcott and Ruth Levitt
Index to Dictionary of Art. 34 vols. Macmillan
1995 Ruth Richardson and Robert Thorne
The Builder illustrations index 1843–1883. Hutton and Rostron
1994 H.C.G. Matthew
Index to The Gladstone diaries. Oxford, Clarendon Press
1993 Janine Ross
Index to R. McCrae et al., Encyclopedia of food science, food technology and nutrition. Academic Press
1992 Paul Nash
Index to Tolba and El-Kholy (eds), The world environment 1972–1992. Chapman and Hall (on behalf of the United Nations Environment Programme)
1991 Elizabeth Moys
Index to British tax encyclopedia. Sweet and Maxwell
1990 No award
1989 Richard Raper
Index to P.H. Barrett and R.B. Freeman (eds), The works of Charles Darwin. Pickering and Chatto
1988 Bobby Burke
Index to Halsbury’s Laws of England, 4th ed. Butterworth
1987 Neil R. Fisk
Index to D.H. Allport and N.J. Friskney, A short history of Wilson’s School, 3rd ed. Wilson’s School Charitable Trust
1986 No award
1985 John Gibson
Index to Sir John Walton, Brain’s diseases of the nervous system, 9th ed. OUP
1984 No award
1983 A.R. Hewitt
Index to The laws of Trinidad and Tobago, Rev. ed. Government of Trinidad and Tobago
Robert Latham
Index to R. Latham and W. Matthews (eds), The diary of Samuel Pepys. Bell and Hyman.
1982 Peter W.M. Blayney
Index to The texts of King Lear and their origins. Vol 1: Nicholas Okes and the First Quarto. Cambridge University Press
1981 J. Edwin Holmstrom
Analytical index to the publications of the Institution of Civil Engineers, January 1975–1979. Institution of Civil Engineers
1980 Laurie J. Taylor
Index to A librarian’s handbook. Vol. 2. Library Association
1979 K.G.B. Bakewell
Index to Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd ed. Library Association
A. Surrey
Index to D. Geraint Jones (ed), Circulation of the blood. Pitman Medical
1978 No award
1977 T. Rowland Powel
Index to Archaeologia Cambrensis, 1901–1960. Cambrian Archaeological Association
1976 John A. Vickers
Index to G.R. Cragg, The works of John Wesley: Vol. 11: The appeals to men of reason and religion and certain related open letters. Oxford, Clarendon Press
1975 M.D. Anderson
Index to Judith Butcher, Copy-editing: the Cambridge handbook. Cambridge University Press
1974 C.C. Banwell
Index to Encyclopaedia of forms and precedents, 4th ed. 24 vols. Butterworth
1973 K. Boodson (author–indexer)
Index to Non-ferrous metals: a bibliographical guide. Macdonald Technical and Scientific.
L.M. Harrod
Index to H.M. Colvin (ed), The history of the King’s Works, Vol. 6: 1792–1851. HMSO
1972 No award
1971 No award
1970 E.L.C. Mullins (compiler–indexer)
A guide to the historical and archaeological publications of societies in England and Wales, 1901–1933. Athlone Press
1969 James Thornton
Index to M. House and G. Storey (eds), The letters of Charles Dickens, Vol. 2: 1840–41. Oxford, Clarendon Press
1968 Doreen Blake and Ruth E.M. Bowden
Cumulative index to The Journal of Anatomy, 1866–1966. Cambridge University Press / Anatomical Society
1967 G. Norman Knight
Index to Randolph Churchill, Winston S. Churchill, Vol. 2. Heinemann
1966 No award
1965 Alison Quinn
Index to R Hakluyt, The Principall Navigations, Voiages and Discoveries of the English Nation. Cambridge University Press, for the Hakluyt Society and Peabody Museum of Salem
1964 Guy Parsloe
Index to Wardens’ accounts of the Worshipful Company of the Founders of the City of London. 1497–1681. Athlone Press
1963 J.M. Dickie
Index to How to catch trout, 3rd ed. W&R Chambers
1962 Michael Maclagan (author–indexer)
‘Clemency’ Canning. Macmillan


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