Hints, tips, and information
Names of Authors
- For any given author, you may see several versions of their name. See next point.
- The names of authors are very inconsistent, sometimes even within the same issue. Dr. Douglas Hube, for example, is cited as:
Dr. Douglas P. Hube
Dr. Douglas Hube
Dr. D.P. Hube
- You could find every article by Dr. Hube in a single Manual Search (see below) for “Hube”, although such a search will also return other results, such as articles in which he is mentioned.
- Articles with multiple authors are indexed by the last listed author’s last name.
- This accounts for strange entries in the Authors list like:
- “Chrapko, David Parker and Bryan”
- That is, “David Parker and Bryan Chrapko”
- Yes, this is rather clumsy, and will be cleaned up, eventually.
- A huge number of articles are uncredited, especially in the early years; there is no indication of authorship at all. Many entire issues cite no authors, not even initials.
- In the absence of evidence to the contrary, one can only credit the editor of that issue.
- Authors are sometimes only indicated by initials, and in a few cases, the full name is unknown or uncertain; that is why “uncredited” appears as an author, and why you see some initials.
- “D.H.” for example, might be Dr. Douglas Hube, however, every article by “D.H.” is about aurorae, while none of the articles attributed to Dr. Hube are about aurorae.
- Numerous articles, especially in the early days, had no title.
- The end of an article might be apparent because the author’s name or initials appear on a single line.
- The start of a new article might be apparent only because the end of the previous article is obvious.
- Many untitled articles also have no author, so the transition to a new article is only apparent by a change of subject.
- The associated Keywords (see above) are the only indication of subject and contents.
- Titles of regular features are very changeable.
- Like today, the president often contributed a short piece. It may be called any one of the following:
[The] President’s Message
The President’s Column
Report from the President…
- As with names of authors, you could find all of them with a single Manual Search (see below) for “President”, although that may match other things as well, e.g., articles about any president of anything, as well as things like “presidential”.
- Page numbers are not given for articles, because
- The pages are not numbered in many issues.
- Few issues exceed 10 pages; finding an article within an issue is not particularly difficult.
Tables of Contents
- The “Table of Contents” for any issue is simply a list of article titles that match a certain date.
- The search results include a link to that issue.
- A Manual Search (see below) for, e.g., “196305” will give you the same results as looking up May 1963 in the Tables of Contents drop-down list, although a link to the issue will not be included.
- This search matches anything: authors, titles, keywords, dates.
- Searches are not CaSe SeNsItIvE: “President” and “president” will return the same results.
- Search for the broadest terms to get the most matches.
- “supernovae” will only match “supernovae”
- “nova” will match “supernovae”, “supernova”, “novae”, and “nova”
- “smith” or “Smith” will match all instances of the name, regardless of first initials, name, title, etc., and regardless of which field “Smith” occurs in (author, title, keywords).
How this index was created
- The index itself consists of a single plain text CSV file.
- Each line (record) has four fields:
- Author – where known, usually cited as it appears; sometimes edited for clarity
- Title – where given, cited as it appears; sometimes edited for brevity
- Keywords – a few words to indicate what the article is about; sometimes the subject is not at all clear from the title; sometimes the title carries enough information that keywords are minimal
- Issue – a simple six-digit code, for year + month: YYYYMM
- Here are a few lines of the CSV file, from January 1957:
Author,Title,Keywords,Issue Dave Marvin,Aurora Division,Aurora Borealis;northern lights,195701 Franklin Loehde,Solar Division,solar observing;sun spots,195701 Earl Milton,Nova Search Division,supernovae,195701
What is NOT indexed
- There are numerous notices, some quite lengthy, concerning matters like births, weddings, picnics, trips, parties, meeting dates and times, etc.
- Obituaries are indexed; do a Manual Search (see above) for the person’s last name.