Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 16.djvu/11

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


Preface As originally planned and announced The Catholic Encyclopedia was not to have an Index Volume. The editors were of the opinion that the alphabetical order of the articles and niunerous cross references would enable the reader to find readily the topics ordinarily sought after. Few encyclopedias have indexes. No sooner had the first volume appeared than subscribers urged upon the editors the necessity of publishing an Index. The numerous topics treated in the articles, all of unusual character and interest, would, it was argued, be extremely difficult to find without the aid of an analytical index. Such an index would tell the reader at a glance every part of the work in which a given topic is discussed, and bring together in alphabetical arrangement every other topic closely related with it. Shortly after deciding to prepare an analytical index of the Encyclopedia, in April, 1907, the editors began the work, by training a corp of assistants who, as each successive volume appeared, selected the titles which would be most com- monly the subject of inquiry. In this way the titles selected were available for reference as the work went on so that they could be constantly tested by the editors, and, on the completion of the Fifteenth Volume of the Encyclopedia, nothing further remained to be done except the arrangement and verification of the titles as they occur in the passages indicated, and the usual painstaking reading of printer's proofs which such work requires. The Index will make the volumes proper of the Encj'clopedia immensely more valuable than they would have been without it. It also serves to reveal the vast and varied information contained in the work as well as the complete and thorough treatment of the subjects discussed. For the benefit of all who may wish to use the Encyclopedia not only for reference, but also for systematic reading. Courses of Reading are published in this voliune, bringing together in logical and chronolog- ical sequence the subjects which the alphabetical order of the Encyclopedia has necessarily kept apart. In addition to the Index, this volume contains certain articles supplying in- formation chiefly about prominent persons deceased, dioceses erected, ecclesiastical legislation enacted, and omissions observed, since the issue of the volumes in which these subjects might have appeared in alphabetical order. Though these articles are in no way essential, or even integral, to the completeness of the Encyclopedia, it was thought proper to add them here in order to bring the information contained in the work up to date, instead of waiting until such time as they would appear in a supplemental volume. As in the Preface to Volume One, so now in this concluding statement, the Editors express their gratitude to all who have aided them in the publication of the Encyclopedia, to the hierarchy, the clergy, promoters, patrons, contributors, publishers, reviewers, to a faithful staff of editorial assistants, and to all associated in any manner with the business of producing and circulating the work.