table of contents cast list
item list index contents castList

Differences between tables of contents (ordered by location in the book) and indexes (ordered by topic).

Like tables of contents, indexes appearing in the source document are generally considered to have a limited value as reference mechanisms, since they provide information which can often be duplicated in a more powerful form by a generated index. However, indexes from the source often reveal interesting things about the way the document’s producers thought about its contents and about classification systems. These systems are often highly idiosyncratic and point out ideas or topics which would be impossible to extract or generate by any other means. For this reason, we strongly recommend that all indexes in early printed books be transcribed in full, even if the encoding does not capture the links between the index and the body of the text.

The encoding of an index is very similar to that of a table of contents. The index as a whole is encoded within div type="index", with a nested list type="index" inside. The reason for the outer div is to contain any headings or prose that may appear at the top of the index. Within the list, each index item should be encoded as an item.

Indexes which are subdivided into sections (e.g. by letters of the alphabet or by category) should be encoded as lists of lists: that is, the index as a whole is a list whose component items are the groups of entries gathered under each letter or other subheading. Each group is also a list. The subheadings themselves are headings to these individual lists. See example 1.


Example 1. (Page numbers omitted for clarity)

<div type="index">