This paper was originally read to the Johnson Club on 8 October, 1954. At that time I had compiled the index to my edition of the Diary of John Evelyn (1955), but the printer had not yet started setting it up (I have also compiled two or three short indexes, for volumes of the Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research and so on). The paper is not a defence of, or apology for, or commendation of, courses adopted in the Evelyn index; my object was to discuss, as impartially as I could, aspects of indexing that interested me. I have not tried to compose a systematic treatise on the subject and, were I to recommend any particular courses in indexing, it would be as a user, not a maker, of indexes; my preferences, however, must emerge in the course of the paper and are embodied in the Evelyn index.
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