Documentary Editing, Association for


Date of this Version


Document Type



Newsletter of the Association for Documentary Editing, Volume 5, Number 2, May 1983. ISSN 0196-7134


© Association for Documentary Editing, 1983. Used by permission.


When the Papers of Henry Laurens project published its first volume in 1968, computers were still very much the domain of our scientific colleagues. Only a handful of humanists like Wilhelm Ott in Germany and Eric Boem in the United States had begun to realize the computer's potential for eliminating some of the drudgery associated with publishing scholarly materials. Today, computer assistance has become the sine qua non for almost every large-scale edition. Older editions like the Laurens Papers have had to automate their procedures gradually-moving step-by-step to replace traditional methods with computer-assisted methods.

The Laurens Papers began that process in 1975 and the process continues today. The first task identified for computer assistance back in 1975 was the making of single-volume indexes and ultimately the ability to create a cumulative index. By the end of 1976, a computer-assisted indexing system had become a reality. That indexing system was given the name CINDEX-an acronym for cumulative INDEX. Although the system could produce only' single-volume indexes, the acronym was chosen to reflect the project's objective of creating a multi-volume index.