Charles Davies Sherborn
and the Indexer’s Club
A passion addiction obsession for list-making
The Indexer’s Club
The Indexer’s Club
The Indexer’s Club
• What is an indexer / list-maker?
– Masochist?
– Socially inept?
– Obsessive / Compulsive?
– Facilitat...
The Indexer’s Club
• Leaders / Founders / ? Inspirations (B.C.*)
– Kallimachos
*Before Charles [Davies Sherborn]
• Leaders / Founders / ? Inspirations (B.C.)
– Roget
The Indexer’s Club
• Leaders / Founders / ? Inspirations (B.C.)
– Franklin
The Indexer’s Club
• Leaders / Founders / ? Inspirations (B.C.)
– Agassiz
1842–1846 1848–1854
The Indexer’s Club
• Leaders / Founders / ? Inspirations (B.C.)
– Coues
1878–1880
“Bibliography is a
necessary nuisance and
horrible drudgery...
• Leaders / Founders / ? Inspirations (B.C.)
– Coues
1878–1880
“ ... and his inspiration is as
dangerous a gift as the
app...
• Leaders / Founders / ? Inspirations (B.C.)
– Scudder
1882–1884
The Indexer’s Club
• Leaders / Founders / ? Inspired (A.D.*)
– Richmond
* After [Charles] Davies [Sherborn]
The Indexer’s Club
• Leaders / Founders / ? Inspired (A.D.)
– Mathews
1925
The Indexer’s Club
• Leaders / Founders / ? Inspired (A.D.)
– Schultze
1926–1954
The Indexer’s Club
• Leaders / Founders / ? Inspired (A.D.)
– Neave
1939–1940
The Indexer’s Club
• Leaders / Founders / ? Inspired (A.D.)
– Eschmeyer
1990
The Indexer’s Club
• Leaders / Founders / ? Inspired (A.D.)
– Thompson
1999–date
The Indexer’s Club
Sherborn Background
• Early Life
• Early Life
St. Luke’s, Chelsea
Sherborn Background
• Early Life
Sherborn Background
• Mid Life
Age 25 Age 32 Age 34
Sherborn Background
• Later in Life
Age 65 Age 74
Sherborn Background
• Home Life (49 Peterborough Rd.)
Sherborn Background
• Home Life (49 Peterborough Rd.)
Sherborn Background
• Home Life (49 Peterborough Rd.)
Sherborn Background
Sherborn Works
• Bibliographies
• Catalogues
• Indexes
• Dating
• Bibliographies
• Catalogues
• Indexes
• Dating
1888
Sherborn Works
• Bibliographies
• Catalogues
• Indexes
• Dating
1890
Sherborn Works
• Bibliographies
• Catalogues
• Indexes
• Dating
1893–1896
Sherborn Works
• Bibliographies
• Catalogues
• Indexes
• Dating
1902
Sherborn Works
• Bibliographies
• Catalogues
• Indexes
• Dating
1922–1933
Sherborn Works
• Bibliographies
• Catalogues
• Indexes
• Dating
1891
Sherborn Works
• Bibliographies
• Catalogues
• Indexes
• Dating
1936
Sherborn Works
Sherborn Tidbits
• Bibliographies
• Catalogues
• Indexes
• Dating
“The systematist requires certain tools for his
work, of...
• Bibliographies
• Catalogues
• Indexes
• Dating
Sherborn’s unending quest for books ended up
helping not only “build” the...
• Bibliographies
• Catalogues
• Indexes
• Dating
Timeline for Index Animalium I
- began work in 1890
- published in Octobe...
• Bibliographies
• Catalogues
• Indexes
• Dating
Timeline for Index Animalium II
- began work in 1902?
- last part publish...
• Bibliographies
• Catalogues
• Indexes
• Dating
The rarity of errors in the Index Animalium is a
testament to the thoroug...
• Bibliographies
• Catalogues
• Indexes
• Dating
The work: Macquart (1834) “Histoire
Naturelle des Insectes. Diptères.”
Th...
• Bibliographies
• Catalogues
• Indexes
• Dating
Sherborn Tidbits
Sherborn Tidbits
Sherborn Tidbits
Sherborn Tidbits
Sherborn Tidbits
Sherborn and Our Future
Sherborn and Our Future
• Leaders / Founders / ?Inspirations
– Neave
• Leaders / Founders / ?Inspirations
– Neave
Sherborn and Our Future
• Leaders / Founders / ?Inspirations
– Eschmeyer
Sherborn and Our Future
• Leaders / Founders / ?Inspirations
– Eschmeyer
Sherborn and Our Future
• Leaders / Founders / ?Inspirations
– Thompson
Sherborn and Our Future
• Leaders / Founders / ?Inspirations
– Thompson
Sherborn and Our Future
Sherborn and Our Future
Sherborn and Our Future
Sherborn and Our Future
Thanks!
Sherborn: Evenhuis - Charles Davies Sherborn and The Indexer’s Club
Sherborn: Evenhuis - Charles Davies Sherborn and The Indexer’s Club
Sherborn: Evenhuis - Charles Davies Sherborn and The Indexer’s Club
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Sherborn: Evenhuis - Charles Davies Sherborn and The Indexer’s Club

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Charles Davies Sherborn was an indexer. And he followed a long line of indexers. And a longer line of indexers followed him. They/we are all members of “The Indexer’s Club”. A club of obsessed individuals who, for some weird reason, find it necessary to not only facilitate a semblance of order, but to make sometimes incredibly huge amounts of information available to others [sacrificing their social lives and labouring on what spouses and colleagues may consider esoteric projects in order to save others from the same work]. And in doing so, encumbering most of the day and the wee hours of the night with a passion and fervour few other human beings can even begin to understand. This presentation will explore the bits of Sherborn’s life that led to that passion for indexing; and touch upon the impact he has had on bibliographies and researching the dates of publication; upon nomenclature; and upon the indexing of names — and it will attempt to explain why he did this and where we all can go as a result.

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Sherborn: Evenhuis - Charles Davies Sherborn and The Indexer’s Club

  1. 1. Charles Davies Sherborn and the Indexer’s Club A passion addiction obsession for list-making
  2. 2. The Indexer’s Club
  3. 3. The Indexer’s Club
  4. 4. The Indexer’s Club • What is an indexer / list-maker? – Masochist? – Socially inept? – Obsessive / Compulsive? – Facilitator! • Giving order to unordered or chaotic sets of items • Products from work are called “references” and “finding aids” • We perform an often thankless service to others at little benefit to ourselves
  5. 5. The Indexer’s Club • Leaders / Founders / ? Inspirations (B.C.*) – Kallimachos *Before Charles [Davies Sherborn]
  6. 6. • Leaders / Founders / ? Inspirations (B.C.) – Roget The Indexer’s Club
  7. 7. • Leaders / Founders / ? Inspirations (B.C.) – Franklin The Indexer’s Club
  8. 8. • Leaders / Founders / ? Inspirations (B.C.) – Agassiz 1842–1846 1848–1854 The Indexer’s Club
  9. 9. • Leaders / Founders / ? Inspirations (B.C.) – Coues 1878–1880 “Bibliography is a necessary nuisance and horrible drudgery that no mere drudge could perform. It takes a sort of inspired idiot to be a good bibliographer ...” The Indexer’s Club
  10. 10. • Leaders / Founders / ? Inspirations (B.C.) – Coues 1878–1880 “ ... and his inspiration is as dangerous a gift as the appetite of the gambler or dipsomaniac—it grows with what it feeds upon, and finally possesses its victim like any other invincible vice.” The Indexer’s Club
  11. 11. • Leaders / Founders / ? Inspirations (B.C.) – Scudder 1882–1884 The Indexer’s Club
  12. 12. • Leaders / Founders / ? Inspired (A.D.*) – Richmond * After [Charles] Davies [Sherborn] The Indexer’s Club
  13. 13. • Leaders / Founders / ? Inspired (A.D.) – Mathews 1925 The Indexer’s Club
  14. 14. • Leaders / Founders / ? Inspired (A.D.) – Schultze 1926–1954 The Indexer’s Club
  15. 15. • Leaders / Founders / ? Inspired (A.D.) – Neave 1939–1940 The Indexer’s Club
  16. 16. • Leaders / Founders / ? Inspired (A.D.) – Eschmeyer 1990 The Indexer’s Club
  17. 17. • Leaders / Founders / ? Inspired (A.D.) – Thompson 1999–date The Indexer’s Club
  18. 18. Sherborn Background • Early Life
  19. 19. • Early Life St. Luke’s, Chelsea Sherborn Background
  20. 20. • Early Life Sherborn Background
  21. 21. • Mid Life Age 25 Age 32 Age 34 Sherborn Background
  22. 22. • Later in Life Age 65 Age 74 Sherborn Background
  23. 23. • Home Life (49 Peterborough Rd.) Sherborn Background
  24. 24. • Home Life (49 Peterborough Rd.) Sherborn Background
  25. 25. • Home Life (49 Peterborough Rd.) Sherborn Background
  26. 26. Sherborn Works • Bibliographies • Catalogues • Indexes • Dating
  27. 27. • Bibliographies • Catalogues • Indexes • Dating 1888 Sherborn Works
  28. 28. • Bibliographies • Catalogues • Indexes • Dating 1890 Sherborn Works
  29. 29. • Bibliographies • Catalogues • Indexes • Dating 1893–1896 Sherborn Works
  30. 30. • Bibliographies • Catalogues • Indexes • Dating 1902 Sherborn Works
  31. 31. • Bibliographies • Catalogues • Indexes • Dating 1922–1933 Sherborn Works
  32. 32. • Bibliographies • Catalogues • Indexes • Dating 1891 Sherborn Works
  33. 33. • Bibliographies • Catalogues • Indexes • Dating 1936 Sherborn Works
  34. 34. Sherborn Tidbits • Bibliographies • Catalogues • Indexes • Dating “The systematist requires certain tools for his work, of which not the least important are good bibliographies and indexes.” –C.D. Sherborn quoted in “Squire”, p. 49
  35. 35. • Bibliographies • Catalogues • Indexes • Dating Sherborn’s unending quest for books ended up helping not only “build” the library of the Natural History Museum, but make it in many cases the only place or one of only a few places one can find a copy of a rare book on zoology. Sherborn Tidbits
  36. 36. • Bibliographies • Catalogues • Indexes • Dating Timeline for Index Animalium I - began work in 1890 - published in October 1902 Sherborn Tidbits
  37. 37. • Bibliographies • Catalogues • Indexes • Dating Timeline for Index Animalium II - began work in 1902? - last part published in July 1933 Total time spent indexing animal names from 1758 to 1850: 43 years Sherborn Tidbits
  38. 38. • Bibliographies • Catalogues • Indexes • Dating The rarity of errors in the Index Animalium is a testament to the thoroughness of the 11 years of constant proofreading of Sherborn However, there is one name omission from a book he did see that is worthy of note ... There are some names omitted and these are virtually all from works he did not see and also include subspecies he tended to ignore Sherborn Tidbits
  39. 39. • Bibliographies • Catalogues • Indexes • Dating The work: Macquart (1834) “Histoire Naturelle des Insectes. Diptères.” The name: Laphria limbata Macquart Sherborn Tidbits
  40. 40. • Bibliographies • Catalogues • Indexes • Dating Sherborn Tidbits
  41. 41. Sherborn Tidbits
  42. 42. Sherborn Tidbits
  43. 43. Sherborn Tidbits
  44. 44. Sherborn Tidbits
  45. 45. Sherborn and Our Future
  46. 46. Sherborn and Our Future • Leaders / Founders / ?Inspirations – Neave
  47. 47. • Leaders / Founders / ?Inspirations – Neave Sherborn and Our Future
  48. 48. • Leaders / Founders / ?Inspirations – Eschmeyer Sherborn and Our Future
  49. 49. • Leaders / Founders / ?Inspirations – Eschmeyer Sherborn and Our Future
  50. 50. • Leaders / Founders / ?Inspirations – Thompson Sherborn and Our Future
  51. 51. • Leaders / Founders / ?Inspirations – Thompson Sherborn and Our Future
  52. 52. Sherborn and Our Future
  53. 53. Sherborn and Our Future
  54. 54. Sherborn and Our Future
  55. 55. Thanks!
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