The Index, published by the Kerala University Library, is a rich source for articles that have reference to Kerala.

Since 1987, the ‘Kerala Index’ brought out by the Kerala University Library has been a one-stop-shop for those searching for references to Kerala in newspapers and magazines.

With more than a dozen magazines and newspapers as its database the Kerala Index enables a user to know at a glance the abstract of the article in which there is a reference to Kerala, the author, the title of the article, the name of the journal/newspaper, the issue date, its volume, year and page number. This information is given both in English and Malayalam.

Though the Index was published annually, its periodicity later became erratic. Without any effort on the part of the library to popularise this researcher-friendly product, the Index caught the fancy of a section of the library’s members who quickly became it ardent fans. Today, the Index—whenever it is published—is also sent to the State Central Library and to the Kerala Sahitya Akademi. At the university library, however, it languishes in a corner of the Kerala Studies Section.

“The Index is a rich source for articles that have reference to Kerala. For instance, if a reader wants to know something about waste management in relation to Kerala, the Index is the place to go to. Instead of sifting for hours through magazines or newspapers, a user need only glance through the subject or author index to lay his finger on what he is looking for. The July 2011 edition of the Index is now under preparation,” a library official said.

Now, the library has been sanctioned Rs.5 lakh for computerising the Index. The plan is to digitise the Index’s abstracts and provide a search facility. Once this facility is up and running it can also be posted online so that a user would be able to know the books he needs to refer, even before coming to the library.