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Editing Conventions

Abbreviations used in printed catalogues cause confusion for search engines. Their inconsistent definitions and use (some printers used different forms in different places in the same catalogue) compound this confusion. Below are some examples of abbreviations used in the school catalogues and the problems they present for search engines. To remedy this, a few editing conventions are used in the Index. Some examples are shown below.

In this example, the name of the state is not listed in the residence column in the printed catalogue. Also, the name of the city is indicated by ", meaning "copy from above line." (This can also appear as "ditto" or .do do.) Within the index, the city and state names are added to each name in order to make those searchable.

If there is a blank space in the residence column, or if the ditto marks are unclear or if the residence is illegible, then the default residence becomes the city and state in which the educational institution is located.

  How name appears in Catalogue How entry is edited for search
  Name                   Residence  
  Mary Reed             Leicester Leicester, Massachusetts
  Katie Warren             " Leicester, Massachusetts
  Maria Warren             " Leicester, Massachusetts
  Susan Whittemore      " Leicester, Massachusetts


Names are expanded to the fullest form of the name. Some common examples are:

Suffixes are also expanded.
Jun. or Jr. are both recorded as Jr.

Footnotes to names, usually indicated by the symbol of a dagger or an asterisk, are recorded as context keywords appended to the name. For instance, a dagger symbol might indicate "students of the partial course" and this information will be added to the name in the index. An asterisk can be used to indicate a person who is deceased, absent on leave, a degree candidate or other information. Once again, these footnoted terms are added to the names in the index.

The names of cities and states are often abbreviated.

  How name appears in Catalogue How entry is edited for search
  Balto. Co., Md. Baltimore County, Maryland
  M'tKisco (New York) Mount Kisco, New York
  Carthage Land'g, New York Carthage Landing, New York

Ms. can mean either Massachusetts or Mississippi. The city name is then used to determine which is the proper state. For some common cities, such as Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Cleveland, etc., the state is not given in the printed catalogue. In those cases the state is added to the index.

Colleges can also change their names over time. For the purposes of the index, the name of the college at the time the catalogue was issued is the college name recorded.

Please e-mail the library with your questions or comments.