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Lathrop Report On Newspaper Indexes
A profile of Norman Lathrop Enterprises
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This report is extracted from the 1000 Section (Confirmed Newspaper Indexes) of the 1979-1980 Edition of LATHROP REPORT ON NEWSPAPER INDEXES: An illustrated guide to published and unpublished newspaper indexes in the United States and Canada.   Either a compiler, publisher or repository had confirmed the existance of this index and supplied information for the report. See the INTRODUCTION for the methodology used in compiling the LATHROP REPORT.

REPORT NO:  1153 Previous Report (1152A)  |  Next Report (1153A)

Most of the Bell & Howell published indexes are compiled, edited and formatted under identical rules. They have the same scope of indexing and the same appearance. Reproduced here is the complete introduction wording as it appears in most Bell & Howell indexes, along with representative pages from the SUBJECT and PERSONAL NAME sections of a typical Bell & Howell index. This constitutes a comprehensive statement of SCOPE as well as a description of STYLE & FORMAT for most Bell & Howell indexes. The user of LATHROP REPORTS will be refered to this page and these samples from some of the LATHROP REPORTS for Bell & Howell indexes which follow.

"This index is compiled from the microfilmed edition of the newspaper. It is intended as a key to the newspaper on microfilm and while entry statements may form a chronological overview of an event or subject area, it is important that the user refer back to the newspaper to read the complete details in context.

Local, regional, state, national and international news articles are indexed. The descriptive entry statements attempt to reflect the emphasis given to the news item by the newspaper. In addition to news articles, the Index also includes:
-letters to the editor
-editorial cartoons
-syndicated editorial opinion columns
-unique advertising (such as a description of a firm's history or position on a major issue)
-reviews of art exhibits, concerts, motion pictures, plays, phonograph records and other forms of entertainment.

Obituaries which appear as news items have been indexed; classified death notices have not. Also omitted are advertisements, vital statistics columns, society personals, routine sports events, announcements of routine social and fraternal meetings and non-news articles dealing with such subjects as recipes, household hints, personal advice, gardening, hobbies and travel.

Newspaper accounts of criminal proceedings against individuals are rarely indexed. Reports of criminal proceedings against individuals or groups will be indexed only if:
-they are politicians or government officials whose alleged crime is tied to their office or position
-they attract extensive national attention because of the nature of the alleged crime
-they are prominent people accused of significant crimes.
Victims of crimes and accidents will not be indexed unless the notability of the victim and/or the nature of the crime are significant.

Newspaper accounts less than three column inches in length are indexed only if:
-the news item reports establishment or termination of diplomatic relations
-the news item reports a government appointment or confirmation of an appointment
-the news item reports final passage of legislation.

STYLE & FORMAT OF INDEX:The index is divided into two parts -- SUBJECTS and PERSONAL NAMES. The Subjects are located in the front of the index; the Personal Names are in the back.

Both general and specific subject headings are used in this index. Cross references are provided to guide the user to related or more specific subjects. Corporations, organizations and social institutions are generally filed under the generic subject heading rather than their indicidual names. If the volume of entries for a specific firm, group or institution becomes too large, a separate specific subject heading for the firm, group or institution may be added.

The user should be aware that this Index is designed primarily to reflect news reported in the United States. As such, most reports involving foreign countries will appear under the name of the country but not under general subject headings. Conversely, most reports involving the United States and its political sub-divisions will not appear under the geographic subject heading but, instead, will appear under the subject(s) of the article. A state, county or city must be the primary subject of the article in order for that article to be indexed under the geographic subject heading.

Divisions of the United States government are treated as subdivisions of the heading "UNITED STATES GOVT--". Most agency names are arranged in natural word order, (e.g., UNITED STATES GOVT--FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION.) News articles describing government actions on specific subjects are indexed under both the government agency involved and under the specific subject(s). This provides access to both the activities of each unit of the federal government and a summary, by subject, from many areas of the nation.

Each state in the United States has its own subject heading. A state heading may be further subdivided into government agencies. This is generally limited to the state in which the newspaper being indexed is located.

Cities and counties with larger populations may be included in the Index under their own names, in which case, a cross-reference is provided from the appropriate state to the specific city or county. Most towns, cities and counties within the primary reporting area of the newspaper have their own subject headings and the major city and county have been subdivided into government agencies (e.g., (CITY'S NAME) GOVT--FIRE DEPARTMENT.)

The second portion of the Index contains names of people who appeared in the newspaper for some significant reason. Mere mention of a name is not sufficient reason for inclusion in the Index. Names are arranged alphabetically by computer sort. Multiple entries for identical personal names are arranged chronologically. The name form used in this Index is that by which the person is cited in the newspaper. An attempt has been made to apply consistency to the names of persons frequently cited in the Index. Transliteration of foreign language names is based on the form used by the newspaper, with due attention to patterns of the particular language involved. Sports and entertainment figures are entered under the name by which they are reported in the paper. Nicknames will generally not appear in the name entry unless the individual is a sports or entertainment figure. The use of titles, rank, or position has been eliminated from most names but are used when the title designates nobility or ecclesiastical offices and when the name consists only of the title and forename.

The entry statement, a brief summation of the article content or type, is followed by columns of numbers which indicate the month, day, section, page and column where articles begin in the newspaper. The following notations are used in the description field:
* Photograph, Illustration or Chart
C Editorial Column or Cartoon
E Editorial
L Letter to the Editor
R Review

Supplemental sections which have not been assigned alphabetic or numeric section codes by the newspaper may be assigned special codes by the indexing staff to facilitate indexing and retrieval of the article. These special codes appear in the "SECTION" column of the citation and are generally a three-letter abbreviation of the section name. These section codes also appear as targets on the microfilmed copy of the newspaper and are located above or to the right of the image."

The Bell & Howell indexes are printed on 8½x11 inch pages, in a two column format. The pages are usually three-hole punched to allow insertion of the monthly issues into a binder. The type style used in the index is all upper case computer output (via a COM machine), reduced to fit the page. Reproduction is by offset duplication.

SAMPLE ILLUSTRATION:  Representative pages from the SUBJECT and PERSONAL NAME sections of a typical Bell & Howell index.
    (Click this link to view the original report, including any accompanying illustration)