indexes: abbreviations and other reference tools


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References to material not contained within the body of the text, such as bibliographies, glossaries, illustrations and tables, require a locator in letters as well as in numbers. The numeral can be printed in boldface type, while the element in letters is presented in italics, usually as an abbreviation:

  • 367 bibliogr.
    • Bibliography
  • 54 (fig. 21)
    • Figure
  • 345 glos.
    • Glossary
  • 68 (fn. 2)
    • Footnote
  • 54 ill.
    • Illustration
  • 36 (hn.)
    • Headnote
  • facing 60
    • plate

When more than one significant reference to an item is made on the same page of a text, and each piece of information is useful, the words bis (twice) and ter (three times) may follow the page number in the index:

  • War of 1812–14, 78 (bis), 87 (ter)

In indexing works with many words on a page, make the reader’s search for information easier by assigning a letter or number to each part of the page. For example, in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the letters a, b, c and d refer to the top, upper middle, lower middle and bottom of the left column of a page, and e, f, g and h to the same parts of the right column (23a, 23b, 23c, etc.).

Explain all abbreviations and special reference codes in an introductory note to the index.

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