Urantia Foundation's First Index of The Urantia Book
Urantia Foundation's First Index of The Urantia Book
~ This index uses page references that only apply to pre-2008 editions of The Urantia Book printed by Urantia Foundation. ~
Copyright © 2010 Urantia Foundation. All rights reserved.
First Edition April 2010
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A Labor of Love
A note on the first dust cover of The Urantia Book advised readers that the "Index of The Urantia Book is published in a separate volume. Price $8.00". Little did those who made this simple statement understand the true proportions of creating such an index. Not only did the book introduce a new vocabulary, but it also included concepts that the revelators themselves tell us have no true expression in the English language. Strings of words, nuances of meaning, and layers of language challenged those who attempted to index this work for many years to come. Ultimately the index became so complex that it was abandoned in the files of Urantia Foundation for 20 years.
We are pleased to be able to now provide to Urantia Book readers the largely unedited fruits of the labors of these early Urantia Book readers. Those who worked patiently to create the index over a 40 year period will now perhaps rest more peacefully knowing that their love of The Urantia Book and their vision to help readers find meaning in an epochal revelation has finally come to fruition in this volume.
This "first" index of the Urantia Book was worked on over many years by several members of the staff of Urantia Foundation. While it is not possible to acknowledge all those who may have had a hand in this work, we do know from surviving documents and personal testimonies that the following individuals were a part of the indexing project:
Dr. William Sadler worked for a while on the early index, but it was soon taken over by Mr. Wilfred Kellogg as the Doctor was busy with other projects. (Kendall, 2009).
Mr. Wilfred Kellogg was the original creator of the "reference cards", which were individual index cards with references from The Urantia Book (Cook, 1960). He also indexed Dr. Sadler's medical books (Kendall, 2009).
Ms. Anna Kellogg filed the index cards that Wilfred created (Kendall, 2009).
Mr. Bill Sadler, Jr. participated in the index project in the early years (Kendall, 2009).
Ms. Anna Rawson worked with Edith Cook on the index. Her memo in 1964 was critical in identifying many of the difficulties in indexing The Urantia Book. At one point Edith Cook said: "Anna Rawson and I are willing to make any sacrifice of time and effort to make this a useful index. We are devoted to the task..." (Cook, 1960).
Ms. Edith Cook began her work on the index on October 7, 1958. She worked with Anna Rawson, then took over after Anna moved (Cook, 1961). Edith created the first typewritten copy of the cards, and worked on the project into the 1980's.
The Creation of the Index
The index began with the creation of reference cards starting in the late 40's before the book was printed. The index cards were later edited by re-arranging entries (transferring adjectives to nouns, combining names of personalities, separating general from specific references, etc.), and filling in missing references. The entries were then typed out on 8" x 10" onion skin paper in alphabetical order, with more revision happening as the index was typed. The question arose as to whether they were creating a true "index" or more of a "concordance" (Cook, 1961a). By 1964 it was clear that the work could not become a true concordance, which would run into many volumes.
By 1961 approximately 41% of the text was typed and edited. Despite adding 30% to 50% more to the original index during the editing process, those working on the project worked to cut down the total size of the index by transfering adjectives to nouns and combining references (Cook, 1961b). In 1964 the idea of using "an IBM machine" to aid in the work was first brought up. The creators of the index were having problems keeping track of the many synonyms that needed to be cross-referenced, and the re-arranging of text by literally cutting and pasting was becoming problematic. Anna Rawson commented "If one wanted to find out about Urantia one wold also have to look under "world", "planet", "sphere", etc..." (Rawson, 1964). Anna Rawson and Edith Cook did much work on the problems associated with separating general concepts from specific ones during this period.
By 1981 the work was nearly completed, and Edith outlined in a memo what she thought remained to be done. This was completed in the 1980's, and a final typed draft, full of corrections, was deposited in the files. This final draft and the old index cards then sat in the basement of 533 for 20 years for lack of "an IBM machine" to aid in the completion of the work. In 2007 Trustees of Urantia Foundation approved a resolution to have the typed work transferred into an electronic database and, after careful proofing, transferred again to an electronic book format so that the work would be preserved and made available to Urantia Book students and historians.
The current edition is made available to the public in an essentially unedited form. We have made no attempt to improve or correct the work of the early indexers other than to provide missing references where needed. We hope that Urantia Book readers will profit from use of this "first" index in the form it was left to us.
The page references in this index are to the 1955 (and subsequent) editions published by Urantia Foundation. We have not been able to verify all of the page references with an actual text, although the page numbers were checked against the original index entries to catch database entry errors. We apologize in advance for any inadvertent errors or omissions in this edition, and we welcome corrections and suggestions, which can be sent in writing to Urantia Foundation, 533 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.