In an earlier post I discussed some of the limitations of full-text searching in digitized copies of historic mining engineering literature, and suggested several historic index publications specific to mining engineering that could be used to augment your search by looking for information the old-fashioned way.

Mining engineering information also appeared in historic indexes that covered engineering as a whole. Third-party indexes that cover engineering topics generally include at least some of the more popular mining engineering journals in their coverage. These indexes can help you cover more ground, and can also help unearth the occasional mining-related article in a general engineering periodical that might not have gotten picked up by one of the more specialized indexes. Finally, general indexes can help reveal how technological change in the mining industry is related to the engineering industry as a whole.

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For work published before 1893, the two index volumes compiled by Francis E. Galloupe are valuable.

The most important index for very late 19th century and 20th century engineering is the Engineering Index. It began publishing its compendium volumes in 1892, with coverage back to 1884. The first two volumes were published by the Association of Engineering Societies, but then beginning with vol. 3, with coverage beginning in 1896, the work was done by The Engineering Magazine. Beginning with volume 5, published in 1906, the index covered one year per volume. Ownership has changed hands several times, but the Engineering Index, now known as the COMPENDEX, is still being published and updated today by Elsevier, at http://www.ei.org. A paid subscription is necessary to access this site, but the index is very valuable as the back files of the Engineering Index have all been digitized and are searchable via the database.

  • The Engineering Index v.1: 1884-1891
    v.2: 1892-1895
    v.3: 1896-1900
    v.4: 1901-1905
    v.5: 1906
    v.6: 1907
    etc. etc.

Another useful third-party index is The Industrial Arts Index. Compared with the Engineering Index, the Industrial Arts Index had more application-oriented (and business-oriented) items. Coverage began for periodicals published in 1913. After the 1957 issue, the publication split, becoming the Business Periodicals Index and the Applied Science & Technology Index. The latter still exists as an EBSCO product. The main version covers from 1984 to the present, and an additional "Applied Science & Technology Index Retrospective" package contains complete data back to the beginning of the Industrial Arts Index in 1913. These are also paid subscription services.

  • The Industrial Arts Index (1913-1957)
  • Applied Science & Technology Index (1958--)