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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 ...

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

  • 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? – 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
  • The Indexer’s Club• Leaders / Founders / ? Inspirations (B.C.*) – Kallimachos *Before Charles [Davies Sherborn]
  • The Indexer’s Club• 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 “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 ...” 1878–1880
  • The Indexer’s Club• Leaders / Founders / ? Inspirations (B.C.) – Coues “ ... 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.” 1878–1880
  • The Indexer’s Club• 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
  • Sherborn Background• Early Life
  • Sherborn Background• 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 Works• Bibliographies• Catalogues• Indexes• Dating
  • Sherborn Works• 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 Tidbits• Bibliographies• Catalogues “The systematist requires certain tools for his work, of which not the least important are good• Indexes bibliographies and indexes.” –C.D. Sherborn quoted in “Squire”, p. 49• Dating
  • Sherborn Tidbits• Bibliographies• Catalogues 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• Indexes only place or one of only a few places one can find a copy of a rare book on zoology.• Dating
  • Sherborn Tidbits• Bibliographies• Catalogues Timeline for Index Animalium I - began work in 1890 - published in October 1902• Indexes• Dating
  • Sherborn Tidbits• Bibliographies• Catalogues Timeline for Index Animalium II - began work in 1902? - last part published in July 1933• Indexes• Dating Total time spent indexing animal names from 1758 to 1850: 43 years
  • Sherborn Tidbits• Bibliographies• Catalogues The rarity of errors in the Index Animalium is a testament to the thoroughness of the 11 years of constant proofreading of Sherborn• Indexes There are some names omitted and• Dating these are virtually all from works he did not see and also include subspecies he tended to ignore However, there is one name omission from a book he did see that is worthy of note ...
  • Sherborn Tidbits The work: Macquart (1834) “Histoire• Bibliographies Naturelle des Insectes. Diptères.”• Catalogues The name: Laphria limbata Macquart• Indexes• Dating
  • Sherborn Tidbits• Bibliographies• Catalogues• Indexes• Dating
  • Sherborn Tidbits
  • Sherborn Tidbits
  • Sherborn Tidbits
  • Sherborn Tidbits
  • Sherborn and Our Future
  • Sherborn and Our Future• Leaders / Founders / ?Inspirations – Neave
  • Sherborn and Our Future• 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
  • Thanks!