National Indexing Day: Thursday 29 March 2018

Posted by Justine Solomons on 5 March 2018, in News

One of our members, Paula Clarke Bain tells us about this important event

The Society of Indexers (SI) is celebrating the art of book indexing with its second annual National Indexing Day on Thursday 29 March, which this year includes an event for publishers at London’s Foundling Museum. The inaugural National Indexing Day was held in March 2017 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the founding of SI and it featured celebrations online and in the press, including articles by Sam Leith in The Guardian and Dennis Duncan in the Times Literary Supplement (TLS). Indexers, authors and publishers joined in enthusiastically on social media using the hashtag #indexday to salute these ‘unsung heroes of the publishing world’, in Sam Leith’s words.

Byte the Book Member Paula Clarke Bain

The Society of Indexers currently has around 400 members across the UK, working for authors and publishers in more than 100 subjects from accountancy to zoology. SI runs a distance-learning course in indexing and maintains a searchable online directory of its accredited professional indexers. We also have local group meetings and an annual conference, which are enjoyable and helpful for those of us who work at home as freelance book indexers.

For National Indexing Day 2018, we are running a half-day event in London. Aimed at publishers, editors and commissioners of book indexes, this will be held at the Foundling Museum, Brunswick Square, from 12 noon to 4 pm on 29 March. Following a welcome from our honorary president, Sam Leith, a series of presentations will focus on current indexing practices, how to evaluate good and bad indexes, and digital developments regarding embedded and linked indexes for ebooks. There will be an ‘ask the indexers’ Q&A panel session and break times for publishers and indexers to meet and mingle. The event will provide a useful opportunity for indexers and publishers to learn from each other so that together we can create better indexes and give added value to almost any non-fiction book. I will be attending as a session presenter and a member of the Q&A panel. It would be wonderful to see some of my fellow Byte the Book members there.

Tickets and a provisional programme are available now on the SI website at The ticket price of £30 includes all sessions, lunch and afternoon refreshments, and complimentary access to the museum. For further information, you can contact me at or follow SI on Twitter @indexers.

We are looking forward to celebrating National Indexing Day online at #indexday and live in London. Whether you work with indexers, want to learn more about indexing, or just appreciate the value of a good index as a reader, we hope you will join in with us on the day.

Paula Clarke Bain is a freelance book indexer and editor. She is an Advanced Professional Member and current Marketing Director of the Society of Indexers. You can see her website at or find her on Twitter @PC_Bain.

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