This Index (available on DVD), compiled and edited by Jeff Bidgood and Neil Radford, was launched at the quarterly meeting of the Sydney Branch of the BCSA on Saturday 4 September 2010. Jeff, followed by Neil, spoke:
Many years ago Walter Stone said ‘Biblionews has been in constant publication longer than any other literary magazine in Australia and indeed, possibly the world’. It is indeed an achievement, and now there exists a single index for Biblionews and Australian Notes & Queries. Here it is! All 326 pages on A4 with narrow margins!
The index includes all the issues from No. 1 to No. 360 which were produced between 1947 and 2008. I would like to acknowledge the effort and help of Neil Radford without whom this would probably never have appeared. Indeed, in this printed copy I have written:
This first printed copy of the Index was printed before its launch at the meeting of the Book Collectors‘ Society of Australia in September 2010. It was given to Neil Radford in recognition of his help and advice in this compilation of previous indexes.
There is a preface (see pp. 82-3) at the beginning of the Index indicating some of the problems Neil and I encountered in the compilation. Some of these we overcame and others remain. Even so, we maybe should have put ‘Errors & Omissions Excepted’ at the bottom of the preface.
You are at liberty to play with the index as much or as little as you like. A copy of the Index will, I believe, be available on our website at some time in the future.
I have produced 20 DVDs numbered 1-20 which include copies of the index in DOC and PDF formats for ‘whatever turns you on’ — Neil tells me, having used it ‘professionally’, that it works well. Before anyone tells me, I know that an ‘i’ is missing from the title of the PDF file. Please be my guest if you wish to change it.
The numbered copies have been allocated to the people who I feel have enough back issues of Biblionews to make it worthwhile. The balance have been given to the Committee to dispose of as they see fit. In addition there are three disks that did not print as I would have wished, but contain the relevant files. So if you are not on the list and would like a copy please ask the Committee.
I am telling Richard Overell and Ray Choate, who will receive copies, they should feel free to copy the disks for other members in their states if they wish. After all, the Index will soon be available on the website.
At present there is no thought of upgrading this Index with future issues of Biblionews. I will leave it to Neil to add any other comments he may wish and to officially launch the Index.
I would like to record that the Index is Jeff Bidgood‘s creation; I played only a relatively minor role in editing and proofreading Jeff‘s work. When Jeff proposed combining the four separate indexes, done by different people, according to different standards and protocols, I thought this would be an impossible task. But Jeff persevered and proved that the task was indeed possible. The result is not perfect, but is certainly very much better than I ever thought it could be. I have been proved wrong. Jeff was right and I join in the congratulations for Jeff‘s achievement.
Preface to Biblionews and Australian Notes & Queries Index 1947–2008 Issues 1–360
This index combines the four separate indexes to Biblionews up to the end of 2008 (Issue 360):
Issues 1-245 (1947-1979) by John Fletcher
Issues 246-312 (1979-1996) by Garry Cousins
Issues 313-340 (1997-2003) by Jeff Bidgood
Issues 341-360 (2004-2008) by Neil Radford
These indexes could just have been brought together as four separate units, which would have allowed users to search by computer, but we felt, as book collectors, that a single index was preferable, in a printable form.
Because these indexes were compiled by different people with differing ideas of what should be included and how items should be indexed, there were many inconsistencies. To give an example, Fisher Library at the University of Sydney was variously indexed under ‘University of Sydney Library’ (with a reference ‘Fisher Library see University of Sydney Library’) under ‘Libraries — Fisher Library’, and under ‘Libraries — Sydney University (Fisher)’. We hope that all such inconsistencies have been identified and resolved. Some errors (names, page references etc) have been found and corrected, but others probably remain. The result is not perfect, but we hope that it will enable users to easily find what they are seeking with minimal risk of missing relevant material.
Titles of books and periodicals mostly appear in italics (this practice was not always consistent). Leading articles (‘a’, ‘an’, ‘the’ and their foreign equivalents) have been omitted in alphabetising. Entries beginning with numbers are filed as if spelled out, e.g., 5 Poems is filed as Five Poems.
Indexing is by issue number in bold type, followed by a colon and page reference. The first issue to be numbered, was 100, and appeared in June 1954. Numbering of issues was inconsistent in the early years, and was sometimes confused by use of Series numbers, Part numbers and Volume numbers, which occasionally produced random infelicities. This index refers to issue numbers only.
The Compiler and Editor wish to draw attention to a problem with headings relating to genres or types of literature (e.g. comics, crime fiction, science fiction, etc). The Cousins index made much use of such headings, Fletcher‘s index used only ‘science fiction’ and neither Bidgood nor Radford indexed to this level. As a result the indexing of literary genres is very inconsistent. Rather than delete all index headings which gave only a partial picture of a genre, the decision was taken to retain the existing index entries, and to add to them where possible, but users are warned that the results are incomplete.
Jeff Bidgood (Compiler)
Neil Radford (Editor)
Jeff Bidgood and Neil Radford at the launch of the ‘Biblionews and Australian Notes & Queries‘ Index 1947-2008 (photo: Richard Blair)