Professional Indexing Services by Mark A. Wentling, M.L.S.

Welcome!  My name is Mark A. Wentling, M.L.S.  I bring over 20 years of professional experience and the highest standards to every indexing project.  I have a broad background indexing trade, textbook, periodical and genealogy publications.

An index written by a professional maximizes the value of your publication because it is asimember2017created by a human who comprehends the meaning and organization of your content and anticipates how a reader will search for the information contained in it.  A good index reflects an author’s intent and provides a reader with efficient and well-organized access through presentation of explicit, implied and related concepts.  No computer can match this ability—it takes a professional to write the best possible index.

I provide original indexing services on a competitive per-page rate, based on the content of your publication.

On this page you’ll learn more about:

Never worked with an indexer before?  I’m happy to explain the process to you and to help you understand what to expect.  Together we can make sure readers get the most out of your hard work.

To inquire, please send details about your project to mark@wentlingresearch.com.  An initial consultation about your project is free and will provide you with an understanding of how I can help you and what to expect from my services.

“I was helping someone…who was creating a genealogical index. Fortunately I showed it to Mark, who saved us both from creating a less-than-helpful index.”

—Anne Marie Houppert, National Geographic Society

Why an Index?

Publishing a book without an index is like inviting a customer to your store…but leaving the front door locked

Readers know the value of a good index.  One well-crafted index entry can lead to a long-sought answer.  Yet how many of us have been forced to thumb blindly through a book’s pages because an author provided no index?  We know that the one bit of information we seek must be there, but finding it seems a hopeless task….So the book goes back on the shelf and we walk away frustrated.  Our questions are unanswered.

As an author or a publisher, you want your readers to be satisfied and your content to be used to the fullest extent.  A well thought-out index is the most effective discovery tool you can give to your customer.  An index opens the door to your content.

A word about indexes for genealogy….

As both a professional indexer and a professional genealogist, I am uniquely qualified to help you serve your genealogical audience, because I know both what a genealogist searches for and how to provide them with the best possible means of access.

Genealogists have information needs that go beyond those of other kinds of readers.  Names and places take on special importance in an index, since biographical and community details play such a central role in family history research.  A good genealogical index is meticulously comprehensive, fully cross-references related names, distinguishes between individuals with the same name where possible, carefully cross-posts women under both birth and married surnames, sufficiently identifies individuals mentioned without a surname and does not imply factual conclusions that exceed those of the author.

I am familiar with best practices for genealogical indexing as prescribed by the American Society for Indexers, as well as with the style guidelines for genealogy indexes set forth by leading genealogical publishing organizations, such as the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

[Learn more about my professional genealogy experience.]

My professional indexing experience

In 1996, I started my professional indexing career at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., where for seven years I wrote the indexes for more than 30 trade books and created monthly, annual and decennial cumulative indexes for NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC magazine, TRAVELER magazine and ADVENTURE magazine.  After leaving National Geographic, I started my own company in which I produced indexes for clients ranging in topics from world history to interior design.

I earned my Masters in Library Science degree with a concentration in Archives in 2002, with honors, gaining essential insight into information access and design.

Starting in 2003, and for twelve years, I led the team responsible for designing how millions of people search and see the world’s published knowledge for EBSCO Information Services, the largest provider of scholarly research databases worldwide.

I now offer my professional indexing services to authors, publishers, historical associations and genealogical societies who are interested in providing the best access to their customers through the creation of excellent indexes for their publications.

In service to the genealogy and history communities, I’ve also published several aftermarket “every-name indexes” to some of the most essential reference books about my native New York State that were originally published in the 19th- and 20th-centuries without indexes.  Browse and buy my indexes below.

 


 

Indexes for Purchase

The following indexes have been written and published by me and are available for purchase at Lulu.com by clicking the “Buy Now” button.  Previews are available on the Lulu website by clicking the title of the book.

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 3.39.25 PMEvery-Name Index to Emerson’s 1898 “Our County & Its People: A Descriptive Work on Jefferson County, New York.” (2016)
Paperback, 8.5 x 11in. 264pp.  $40.00Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

  • More than 26,500 references to over 15,000 people
  • More than 1,800 named organizations, places and things
  • Over 700 surname spelling variant groupings
  • Over 800 cross references to related names
  • Women fully indexed under both birth and married surnames
  • “Unknown Surname” section with helpful identifying details

 


 

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Every-Name Index to Coughlin’s 1905 “Jefferson County, New York Centennial” (2016)
Paperback, 6 x 9in. 96pp.  
$26.00
Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

  • More than 5,400 references to over 4,150 people
  • More than 1,400 families indexed
  • Over 600 surname spelling variant groupings
  • Over 350 cross references to related names
  • Women fully indexed under both birth and married surnames
  • “Unknown Surname” section with helpful identifying details

 


 

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Every-Name Index to Reeve’s 1920 “Jefferson County in the World War” (2016)
Paperback, 6 x 9in. 92pp.  $22.00Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

  • More than 5,400 references to over 4,150 people
  • More than 1,400 families indexed
  • Over 600 surname spelling variant groupings
  • Over 350 cross references to related names
  • Women fully indexed under both birth and married surnames
  • “Unknown Surname” section with helpful identifying detail