Annuals Index Design and Composition
This work consists of two main parts: (1) a computerized Index of the British literary annual and gift book
contents, (2) a comprehensive overview and guide to the annuals in the Index. At present, the computer
compilation consists of author, title, and contents indexes of 13,200 literary items from 283 British literary
annuals. The artist index of engravings consists of 4,700 listings. These indexes may be accessed on the
Internet at: www.britannuals.com.
The Index website home page has a general introduction entitled An Index to British Annuals and five tabs
to go to other pages. The second tab labeled "Literary Annuals" goes to a page entitled "British Annuals and
Editors in the Index." There is a short discussion about annuals and editors, and a listing of the ten most
prominent literary annuals with five additional sub-groupings of more special interest annuals
Clicking on any of these title fields will take you to a further discussion on that specific annual or sub-group
of annuals. The years of publication for these annuals that are in the database are indicated on separate
buttons. Clicking on the year of your choice will display the Table of Contents and the List of Plates for that
particular annual. The third tab labeled "Annual Database" allows you to retrieve author listings directly from
the database. Other supplementary inputs are title, annual and year. For instance, if you specified "Hemans"
in the author space, you would get a list of 164 poems that appeared in all annuals for all years. You can limit
this list further by specifying annual, years, or title. For instance, Hemans published 30 poems in 1830. The
fourth tab labeled "Engravings Database" allows you to retrieve listings of engraving plates by artist, engraver,
title, annual, or year. The fifth tab displays the Bibliography of references cited on the website and general
references to annuals.
The Index is also available on compact disk where indexes are presented in the Microsoft(R) Windows
XP version of the EXCEL spreadsheet program. Entries in the computer database for each item are arranged
by annual name, year published, author, type (whether poetry or prose), title of the item, and page on which
the item begins. A sample input data string is shown below:
Annual Year Author Type Title Page
Amulet 1830 Landon, L.E. Poetry Unknown Poet's Grave 59
A variation of this data string is made for indexing engravings as shown below:
Annual Year Artist Engraver Title Page
English 1835 Sargeant, J. Rogers, J. Westminster Abbey 275
With this data structure, items in each line may be sought or sorted or the lines may be tagged to provide
information for generalizations and to test conjectures about the contents of the literary annuals. This method
was used in the analyses presented.