“I appreciated her professional commitment, thoughtfulness, and expertise as an indexer.”
Rather than just list all the books I’ve indexed, I would rather discuss some of the types of books I’ve helped to make more useful to their readers by my creation of an index for them. Then I would like to briefly present a few that have particularly touched my interest and emotions.
My science and teaching background has been helpful for the textbooks and technical books I have indexed. There have been several manuals on different testing techniques with The American Society for Nondestructive Testing. Nondestructive testing of automobile, construction, and aerospace materials helps keep us safe on the roads and in the skies. At the beginning of my indexing career, I apprenticed with an experienced indexer, and under her guidance and expertise I worked on several textbooks for college-level courses on political topics and the medical and therapy professions.
I was also fortunate early on to be one of the indexers to work with Robert McCracken of Las Vegas, who was involved with a grant project to conduct oral interviews with residents of Nye County, Nevada. He interviewed dozens of farmers, ranchers, Native Americans, civic leaders, and workers at the Nevada Test Site, the area where nuclear weapons were tested. Every one of these oral histories was so interesting that I really wished I could meet these people and continue the conversations!
The two books that I think of most fondly are World War II history books. The first one is Among the Headhunters, by Robert Lyman and published by De Capo Press. It presents the account of a military supply plane which crashed on the “Hump Route” between India and China. The jungle where the plane came to rest was air-patrolled by the Japanese and populated with villages of head-hunting warriors. Among the plane’s passengers were newsman Eric Sevareid, an OSS spy, and Chinese dignitaries. The book had a dual focus: the complex history of the area; and the story of this group’s relationships with the headhunters and their ultimate rescue. It also required a dual-focus index, which was a challenge, but a pleasure to create.
The English translation of The Ghetto Swinger, a memoir by German jazz guitarist Coco Schumann (DoppelHouse Press), is the book that was an absolute privilege to index. Thanks to his musical talent, Schumann survived both Theresienstadt (Terezin) and Auschwitz concentration camps and went on to have a successful international musical career. Holocaust experiences are heart-rending to read and working my way through the chapters on the concentration camps was extremely difficult; I could only bear it for a few minutes at a time. But these stories need to be told and I will always accept the opportunity to create indexes for them. (This index can be seen in the “Look Inside” feature for the print book edition on Amazon.)
Add in other books on history, architecture, running , religion, horse training, a couple of cookbooks, and manuals on exotic pet-keeping, and the range of books I’ve worked on keeps expanding!
“While working with Teri on my memoir, At Home in the Elk River Valley, I appreciated her professional commitment, thoughtfulness, and expertise as an indexer. Her willingness to be flexible, both in time frame and concerning my questions about indexing, created a comfortable working relationship. I would recommend Teri to anyone who desires an index which is not only technically correct, but one which there is truly a human hand in its making.”
— Mary B. Kurtz,
Author of At Home in the Elk River Valley: Reflections on Family,
Place, and the West
“Teri recently indexed two textbooks for the American Society of Nondestructive Testing (ASNT). The textbooks were of a technical nature, involving the use of magnetic particle testing and ultrasonic testing with relevant terminology, mathematical formulas, and scientific concepts. Teri produced virtually flawless work in a timely manner. We were grateful for her expertise in handling a challenging assignment, as it was difficult for us to find a competent indexer in this particular field.”
— Bob Conklin, Editor
The American Society for Nondestructive Testing, Inc.
“We have worked with the meticulous and dedicated Teri Jurgens for several years on major non-fiction projects ranging from 20th century architecture/design history to memoirs. She is prompt, not afraid to ask questions and always open to questions. Teri Jurgens takes the art of indexing seriously, and is an asset to publishers striving for library and course adoption for their books.”
— Carrie Paterson, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief