Outline of paper to be presented at the
Welch Symposium, March 1953 on
"Machine Techniques in Scienific Documentation"
February 19, 1953

Machine Indexing, Machine Indexes, and the Preparation of
Indexes by Machine

I.    The importance of indexes in modern society
      a.     Hypothetical negative legislation
      b.     The extent of present indexing activities
              (refer to display or scientific indexes)
      c.     Scientific documentation - a city without directories

II.    Machine Indexing
        a.    The intellectual aspects of indexing, including the reading of
               the document
        b.    Can a machine read?
                1.    The Electronic Pencil
                2.    The Analytical Reader
        c.    Can a machine index?
                1.    Without reading the text but merely by feeding the
                        information into a machine without analysis, e.g.
                        punched-card or magnetic tape
                2.    Including our electronic or mechanical reader
                3.    An imperfect job of indexing might result from the
                        vocabulary analysis of written material, but more
                        current, though incomplete indexes would be an
                        improvement, and possibly through the preparation
                        of better article titles, better mechanical indexing
                        would result.

III.    Machine Indexes
        a.    The result of either conventional indexing or machine indexing
        b.    Punched card file, magnetic tape, drum, etc.
                (Illustrate what typical coded item would look like)
        c.    Searching for combinations of descriptors, i.e. the introduction
               of symbolic logic, and does this really differ from conventional
               indexing and searching

IV.    The Preparation of Indexes by Machine
        a.    Again, may be the result of either conventional or machine indexing
        b.    The repetitive operations in preparing indexes can be translated
                into various machine activities -- machines can sort, alphabetize,
                print, (by typewriter or by remotely activated typesetters) and
                edit to a certain extent
        c.     Demonstrate the use of punched-cards and distribute sample
                pages from experimental subject and author indexes
        d.    Emphasize the problem of typography -- the readability of upper
               and lower case