Have you heard? An index covering all past Issues of Beacon Lights is going to be published! The proposal was recently approved by the Federation Board and work is about to begin.
The index will include both a textual and a subject index. In the textual index we plan to list all the texts quoted in articles or mentioned as references. Hence, if you ever want to know in what connection a text can be used, you have only to turn to the index, and chances are you will find the text.
However, the subject index will prove of even greater value. Just think of the Wealth of material that has been written in many different fields by our ministers and young people. All of the details have not yet been worked out, but the index will probably list the subjects with which the articles deal in alphabetical order, followed by the title, date, and author of the article. We feel that since the titles alone often do not reveal the contents of the articles, classifying them by subject material will be more beneficial.
Why publish such an index? In all of its 25 years of existence, Beacon Lights has never been indexed. There is a card catalogue, but it is not very complete and is of little use. It does nobody who lives outside of the immediate Grand Rapids area any good. In fact, most people are not even aware that such a catalogue exists. All of this valuable writing has no value for many. By publishing an index, we will give everyone access to this material which can be put to many good uses. The articles can be used for society discussions, for references for papers and debates, for just plain reading to get a picture of past life in our churches (it’s interesting! Just pick up a copy from back in the 1940’s and see what you find!), or for any purpose the reader desires.
If the reader wants an article, all he has to do is send the title, volume, and issue in to Beacon Lights and he will be sent the issue to use for a couple of weeks. Many details have yet to be worked out, and a great deal of hard work lies ahead. But we hope to have the index out by early next fall. More information will be published at that time, D.V. Keep watching!