The typical index card has a subject line at the top, with a list of one or more newspaper articles underneath. The article listing includes a brief title of the article on one line and the newspaper, date of article, page and column where the article could be found.

The librarians who compiled the Zimmer Index used a set of short abbreviations to record the newspaper name. They also used a one or two letter abbreviation for the month.

The following abbreviations were used for the newspapers (occasionally Sunday papers will have an S before the initial):

A
G
H
J
P
T,BT, Tt
CC
Boston Advertiser
Boston Globe
Boston Herald
Boston Journal
Boston Post
Boston Transcript
Cambridge Chronicle
DB
NYP
NYT
SJ
SR
WT
Dorchester Beacon
New York Post
New York Times
Somerville Journal
Springfield Republican
Worcester Telegram
 
These are the abbreviations commonly used for the months:
Ja
F
Mr
Ap
M
Je
January
February
March
April
May
June
Jl
Ag
S
O
N
D
July
August
September
October
November
December

 
Here are some examples:

Image of Zimmer Index Card for Banquets

This card has three articles associated with the subject:

Subject: Banquets (This is the 281st card in the index for that topic)
   Transportation Club
     New York Times, March 24, 1900, page 6 column 3
   Board of Trade
     Springfield Republican, March 23, 1900, page 7 column 5
   To William F. King
     New York Times, March 26, 1900, page 7 column 1

 

First Zimmer Index card for Baker, Hon. John Israel

 Subject: Baker, Hon. John Israel (first card)
   Reappointed on Land and Harbor Commission by Gov. Russell
     Boston Globe, September 1, 1892, page 5 column 3
   Sketch and Portrait
     Boston Post, September 24, 1893, page 19 column 4
   Nominated first Mayor of Beverly Mass
     Boston Post, November 30, 1894, page 5 column 1

 

Second Zimmer Index card for Baker, Hon. John Israel

Subject: Baker, Hon. John Israel (second card)
   Inaugural address at Beverly Mass
     Boston Sunday Globe, January 7, 1895, page 1 column 5


This information is provided by The State Library of Massachusetts.