Bell, Hazel K(athleen) 1935-

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BELL, Hazel K(athleen) 1935-


Born December 5, 1935, in Feltham, Middlesex, England; daughter of Philip William (a tea taster) and Kathleen Maud (an actress and playwright; maiden name, Roberts) MacAulife; married Colin Leonard Malcolm Bell (a research scientist), July 14, 1956; children: Ian, Aidan, Diana. Education: Reading University, B.A., 1954-57. Politics: Conservative. Religion: Humanist. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, the theater.


Home—139 The Ryde, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9 5DP, England.


Editor, indexer, and writer. National Housewives Register, editor of National Newsletter, 1976-80; Society of Indexers, editor of The Indexer, 1978-95; Association of Learned and Professional Publishers, editor of Learned Publishing, 1984-96; Malaysian Rubber Research and Development Association, editor of Rubber Developments, 1990; editor of Journal of the Angela Thirkell Society, 1997-98; Barbara Pym Society, editor of Green Leaves, 1999—. Compiler of more than 600 published indexes to books and journals. Has also worked as a teacher and as a member of educational examining boards.


Society of Indexers, Association of Learned and Professional Publishers (honorary member).


Carey Award, 1997, for services to indexing.


Situation Books for Under-Sixes, Kenneth Mason (England), 1970.

Indexing Biographies and Other Stories of Human Lives, foreword by A. S. Byatt, Society of Indexers (London, England), 1992.

(Editor) Indexers and Indexes in Fact and Fiction, British Library (London, England), 2001.

Contributor of articles, reports, and reviews to periodicals, including Journal of Scholarly Publishing and Society of Freelance Editors and Proofreaders Newsletter.


From Flock Beds to Professionalism: A History of Index-Makers.


Hazel K. Bell is a professional indexer and editor who has also authored or edited several books of interest to others in her field. In Indexers and Indexes in Fact and Fiction, she collects a host of examples of indices of literary works by authors such as Margaret Cook, Thomas Macaulay, and James Boswell, each entry revealing as much about the book or writer in question as about the age in which the indexer worked. As Spectator contributor Andro Linklater noted, "Ever since its appearance in the fifteenth century, the relationship of index to text has fascinated readers because it is also a semiotic relationship, analogous to that between the word and the thing or the map and the land." While noting that Bell does not extend her research to the wider, sociological meaning of the collected indexes, Linklater praised the work, noting that Indexers and Indexes in Fact and Fiction "demonstrates abundantly and entertainingly … that the good indexer's wit … serves to signpost not only the book but sometimes … human nature itself." Praising the foreword by author A. S. Byatt, Managing Information reviewer Jane Coulter also had praise for Bell's "fascinating" and humorous work, concluding: "Anyone who does not already turn first to the back of the book will surely be encouraged to do so, and the converted will be introduced to new gems."

Bell told CA: "I have been involved for many years in publishing, in particular in two specialist areas—learned publishing and indexing—as a practitioner, as a member of council of their professional societies (the Association of Learned and Professional Societies, and the Society of Indexers), and as editor of their journals. As such, I have attended many conferences and seminars on these subjects, and read and published work on them. I feel now that I have a close, detailed knowledge of the development of such publishing through the past decades. I want to record what I have observed, as part of the history of publishing.

"I have written about the careers of eighteen individual publishers (in the widest sense) in the 'Personalities in Publishing' series for the Journal of Scholarly Publishing, and about twenty-four personalities (to date) in the 'Index Makers of Today' series in The Indexer, the newsletter of the Society of Indexers. Now I have compiled an anthology of such biographies, of current and early indexers, and of the development of societies of indexers internationally, for which I am seeking a publisher.

"During the eighteen years through which I edited The Indexer, I delighted to include there lighter items for their sheer entertainment or curiosity value. Readers sent in many, discovered in recherché old volumes, or comments on indexes noted in the press. I thought these were too good to lie forgotten in the archives, and I compiled an anthology of them to keep them accessible: Indexers and Indexes in Fact and Fiction."



Managing Information, January-February, 2002, Jane Coulter, review of Indexers and Indexes in Fact and Fiction.

Spectator, March 9, 2002, Andro Linklater, review of Indexers and Indexes in Fact and Fiction, pp. 49-50.

Times Literary Supplement, March 6, 2002, review of Indexing Biographies and Other Stories of Human Lives.


Aidan Bell Home Page, (December 28, 2003), "Hazel Bell."

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Bell, Hazel K(athleen) 1935-

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