The Card Catalog
The Library of Congress brings booklovers an enriching tribute to the power of the written word and to the history of our most beloved books. Featuring more than 200 full-color images of original catalog cards, first edition book covers, and photographs from the library's magnificent archives, this collection is a visual celebration of the rarely seen treasures in one of the world's most famous libraries and the brilliant catalog system that has kept it organized for hundreds of years. Packed with engaging facts on literary classics—from Ulysses to The Cat in the Hat to Shakespeare's First Folio to The Catcher in the Rye—this package is an ode to the enduring magic and importance of books.

The Card Catalog Details

TitleThe Card Catalog
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 4th, 2017
PublisherChronicle Books
ISBN-139781452145402
Rating
GenreNonfiction, History, Writing, Books About Books

The Card Catalog Review

  • Myra
    January 1, 1970
    This was a LibraryThing Early Reviewer’s Win for me. I very much enjoyed reading this gorgeous hardback book filled with lovely illustrations and photos focused on the history of the card catalog and the Library of Congress. I especially appreciated viewing the photos of the famous first edition book covers. It brought back many pleasant memories of my childhood . . . miss those days of the paper card catalogs. This book is recommended to both historians and bibliophiles.
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  • Pamela
    January 1, 1970
    Most assuredly, I thought this a fascinating, beautifully rendered book. A bit dry and detail intense, perhaps. Anyone who isn't intimately involved in the library world and/or the book trade industry might find themselves skimming on occasion. Still though, a gorgeous book all the way around; from the formatting, to the velum, to the photography and illustrations and precision perfect editing it is a masterpiece. Highly recommendable for any reader who appreciates books and libraries, and the h Most assuredly, I thought this a fascinating, beautifully rendered book. A bit dry and detail intense, perhaps. Anyone who isn't intimately involved in the library world and/or the book trade industry might find themselves skimming on occasion. Still though, a gorgeous book all the way around; from the formatting, to the velum, to the photography and illustrations and precision perfect editing it is a masterpiece. Highly recommendable for any reader who appreciates books and libraries, and the histories and struggles of these institutions, including the vast undertaking of cataloging, collecting, protecting, and preserving tomes through the years.FIVE ***** Perfectly Stunning, Ultimately Fascinating, A Beautiful Tome of Tomes ***** STARS
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  • Patricia
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book! Admittedly I am a librarian who started her career when card catalogs were still intact. And as a college student I worked in a library where part of my job involved typing and filing catalog cards. But the history of the card catalog is the story of one of how information about books was organized for 100 years, and this book does a good job of telling the story. It includes many, many pages of illustrations of classic books paired with their Library of Congress cata I really enjoyed this book! Admittedly I am a librarian who started her career when card catalogs were still intact. And as a college student I worked in a library where part of my job involved typing and filing catalog cards. But the history of the card catalog is the story of one of how information about books was organized for 100 years, and this book does a good job of telling the story. It includes many, many pages of illustrations of classic books paired with their Library of Congress catalog cards. The handwritten ones of the early 1900s are especially compelling. How fortunate we are to live in a time when information is so readily accessible to so many people, through the card catalog in the past and now expanded through digital access.
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    lol going to be a bit annoyed if there is anything shocking in this after two years of library school
  • Judy
    January 1, 1970
    A fascinating book, as I said in my progress notes. Let me first get my criticism out of the way, and then get on to some of the delights. I realize that publishers need to keep an eye on size of a book and how much it will eventually cost. But the print of the text in the entire book is very small. That's why I broke up my reading--my eyes got tired. In addition there are notes about the pictures that are in italic print; so they are small and faint. Many of the pictures are very small, also. I A fascinating book, as I said in my progress notes. Let me first get my criticism out of the way, and then get on to some of the delights. I realize that publishers need to keep an eye on size of a book and how much it will eventually cost. But the print of the text in the entire book is very small. That's why I broke up my reading--my eyes got tired. In addition there are notes about the pictures that are in italic print; so they are small and faint. Many of the pictures are very small, also. It wasn't until I was well into the book that thought of getting a magnifying glass, which helped. Nevertheless, the book is a treasure. I learned so much about the Library of Congress and the evolution of how books were catalogued. I got my MLS in 1994, and worked in a community college library while I was going to school. I remember the card sets from L of C, and think I even filed some. The last of the sets LC sent out were in 1997; so it was near the end of the era. My work at the college library was first doing data entry from the shelf list in the work area putting in author, title and subject (I think) and maybe pub date. We were building the database for the online catalog. Then for two years I cleaned up the no-hits for the retrospective conversion. While this book is of primary interest for those who work in the library field, the history will be of interest to others. Toward the end and interspersed throughout the book are photocopies of significant books such as TO KILL A MOCKINGIRD, BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE, GREAT GATSBY, and some children's books such as CAT IN A HAT. Alongside is a picture of the original catalog card. I really enjoyed the book and highly recommend it to those who like history and are in the library field. I wish I could visit the Library of Congress someday--maybe, but at age eighty time is running out.
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  • Cathy Les
    January 1, 1970
    I liked it but I wish they had explained the markings on the catalog cards they showed in the illustrations. It would have been interesting to get the history of why names, headings, and call numbers changed. That's also something lost when we went to computer catalogs - the history.
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  • David Abrams
    January 1, 1970
    Brisk, sometimes scholarly, text on the history of how we catalog books in our libraries. But the illustrations! Wowee, zowee! An antiquarian book collector's dream.
  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Very interesting. Did you know that when the Library of Congress was established in the early 19th century, borrowers were required to pay $1 to take out a book. A DOLLAR! In 1800! Lots of pictures of cards from card catalogs and of books including first editions for The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird.My only complaint? The book was too slim.
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  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)
    January 1, 1970
    This gives a brief history of the card catalog and the Library of Congress. The text reads like a high school text book, but the pictures are great. It was interesting to see some of the rare books and learn what was contained within the Library.
  • Jenna
    January 1, 1970
    As a Library cataloger, I found this book on the history of the Card Catalog quite interesting. Though a bit dry at times, the photographs more than make up for it. Interspersed between the chapters are beautiful photos and illustrations of first copy editions of books along with their original catalog cards, many of which are handwritten. I certainly do not miss the old card catalog system, and this book made me very thankful that we switched to MARC long before I became a cataloger! Having rea As a Library cataloger, I found this book on the history of the Card Catalog quite interesting. Though a bit dry at times, the photographs more than make up for it. Interspersed between the chapters are beautiful photos and illustrations of first copy editions of books along with their original catalog cards, many of which are handwritten. I certainly do not miss the old card catalog system, and this book made me very thankful that we switched to MARC long before I became a cataloger! Having read this book, I now have a greater admiration for all those catalogers of the past, who worked so diligently to bring us and libraries where we are today.
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  • Donna Merritt
    January 1, 1970
    Really enjoyed this history of the card catalog! The real treasures are the images of cards, e.g., the card for The Catcher in the Rye that describes Salinger like this: "writes short stories for the New Yorker; his first novel."
  • Katharine Ott
    January 1, 1970
    "The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures" - compiled by The Library of Congress and published in 2017 by Chronicle Books. This was a fascinating glimpse at the world of books and especially the development of the card catalog - "the gateway to the wonders of a library's collection." Details include catalogs from the Sumerians of around 2000 BC through to our current online versions, one of my favorites being the use of the reverse of French playing cards by the creators of the Fre "The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures" - compiled by The Library of Congress and published in 2017 by Chronicle Books. This was a fascinating glimpse at the world of books and especially the development of the card catalog - "the gateway to the wonders of a library's collection." Details include catalogs from the Sumerians of around 2000 BC through to our current online versions, one of my favorites being the use of the reverse of French playing cards by the creators of the French Cataloging Code of 1791. I enjoyed paging through the beautiful examples of cards from the Library of Congress paired with an image of the front cover of the book. In 1864 Ainsworth Rand Spofford was appointed Librarian there and the book includes this wonderful quote from him, "I think that the best system in classifying a library is that which produces a book in the shortest time to one who wants it. I would ride over all the rules that interfere with that promptitude of service." I hope many library lovers have a chance to experience this admirable book.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    This gorgeous book is perfect as a gift for a librarian or any bibliophile. Full color images provide a visual history of the Library of Congress by exploring the miscellanea of the library. Windows are opened not only into the library itself, but also the history of librarianship and cataloging. Combining informative text, beautiful images of items from the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, and handwritten cataloging cards to MARC records, this volume covers all the bases. While full This gorgeous book is perfect as a gift for a librarian or any bibliophile. Full color images provide a visual history of the Library of Congress by exploring the miscellanea of the library. Windows are opened not only into the library itself, but also the history of librarianship and cataloging. Combining informative text, beautiful images of items from the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, and handwritten cataloging cards to MARC records, this volume covers all the bases. While full of detailed facts, it is never dull as marginalia and short tidbits of library history keep you fascinated. Definite eye candy for those interested in books, libraries, and information storage history.
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  • Teri
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting little book that discusses how libraries came to be and specifically about the establishment of the Library of Congress and the cataloging of books. Full of pictures, this book covers the earliest known cataloging of scrolls and books dating back to ancient times and finishes up with the modern computerized catalog system. There is a final section on what has become of the old fashioned index cards that most of us remember using in our public libraries.Also included are some great An interesting little book that discusses how libraries came to be and specifically about the establishment of the Library of Congress and the cataloging of books. Full of pictures, this book covers the earliest known cataloging of scrolls and books dating back to ancient times and finishes up with the modern computerized catalog system. There is a final section on what has become of the old fashioned index cards that most of us remember using in our public libraries.Also included are some great pictures of books, authors, and old paper catalog cards.
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  • Lorry Chwazik
    January 1, 1970
    Loved loved loved it - 5 stars, but I am a librarian and obviously a library geek. So many fun facts in here- the written language is only 5000 years old! The first Ancient Greek to catalog all the important works of the day made sure to list all 120 scrolls that were the sum of human knowledge! Back in the early 1900s, future librarians were taught a certain penmanship so as to increase legibility and consistency on the catalog cards! 5 happy dancing stars, and I do miss that lovely serendipito Loved loved loved it - 5 stars, but I am a librarian and obviously a library geek. So many fun facts in here- the written language is only 5000 years old! The first Ancient Greek to catalog all the important works of the day made sure to list all 120 scrolls that were the sum of human knowledge! Back in the early 1900s, future librarians were taught a certain penmanship so as to increase legibility and consistency on the catalog cards! 5 happy dancing stars, and I do miss that lovely serendipitous card catalog.
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  • Bexa
    January 1, 1970
    I think as a librarian I enjoyed this book more than most people would. I loved seeing all the different styles of cards and the handwriting on all the index cards. I am grateful that we no longer have to dedicate so much time to creating these, but the nostalgic part of me wishes that we had a lot of these still around. Our library holds some for certain document collections, but the ones dedicated to the book collections are all gone. Wonderful history and wonderful photographs. Beautiful.
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  • Brenda Lower
    January 1, 1970
    Such a fascinating book, as a librarian and also as someone that has worked in a bookstore. Seeing the card catalog history, plus rare books and their cards from the catalog was so interesting. It was presented in a beautiful manner, with full color pictures on virtually every page. I really enjoyed this!
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  • Meredith
    January 1, 1970
    This book filled me with such joy as I read it. It conjured memories of the Carnegie Public Library in my hometown. The solid, well-built, limestone building with stain glass windows, the largest of which bore the quote, "A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit." I remember it as it was prior to its 2015, hideous, open concept, modern renovation complete with retro 1970s color scheme. Sigh. At least the exterior of the building is pretty much unchanged. Once upon a time in my h This book filled me with such joy as I read it. It conjured memories of the Carnegie Public Library in my hometown. The solid, well-built, limestone building with stain glass windows, the largest of which bore the quote, "A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit." I remember it as it was prior to its 2015, hideous, open concept, modern renovation complete with retro 1970s color scheme. Sigh. At least the exterior of the building is pretty much unchanged. Once upon a time in my hometown Carnegie library, marble steps led from the entrance to the first floor in which a massive oak circulation desk, framed by faux-Corinthian columns, commanded the center and spanned almost the entire width of the building. An enormous card catalog occupied one entire wall. An smaller, but no less impressive, card catalog stood in the center of the children's room on the second story beneath the stained glass set into the domed ceiling. That card catalog contained cards for all the books that I deeply loved as a child, providing a reassurance that even if a book wasn't on the shelf, it still existed and would eventually return to its place on the shelf. Catalog cards from withdrawn items were provided as scrap paper, and I always enjoyed reading the discards.As someone who grew up in the days prior to library automation, the card catalog with its wooden drawers filled with cards (both handwritten and typed) is home to me. Seeing the reproductions of cards issued from the Library of Congress’s card distribution service was like seeing photographs of my deceased relatives. I felt a rush of instant familiarity, tinged with a longing for those gone beyond recall and irrevocably lost. A computer terminal connected to the online public access catalog isn't the same. I miss the serendipity of a card catalog search, which has been replaced -- somewhat unsatisfactorily -- by the chance discoveries resulting from a keyword search and lists of computer generated read-likes. I discovered so many great books and encountered so many strange and wonderful titles as I flipped through cards in search of another book.My sentiments echo those quoted by Wendell Berry: the destruction of the card catalog is "a mistake, a loss, a sorrow." The thought of all those catalog cards pitched unceremoniously into dumpster breaks my heart. Nicholson Baker -- lover of print and hater of all things digital -- best voiced the cost of the rush to jump to digital: "Card catalogs held the irreplaceable intelligence of the librarians who worked on them." They contain things their digital counterparts lack as evidenced by cards with annotations in multiple hands. But perhaps hashtags and user comments will rectify this to some extent. This book is a celebration of the catalog cards, showcasing them as historical artifacts and works of arts in their own right. The book is filled with enlarged photographs of actual library catalog cards, accompanied by photographs of the covers, illustrations, and/or title pages of the books to which they belong. Because this work was produced by the Library of Congress, the history of card catalog revolves around the Library of Congress's catalog and the majority of the illustrations are taken from its holdings. Others include such supplementary materials as the script known as Library Hand invented by Melvil Dewey and catalog cards created from playing cards during the French Revolution.The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures contains a short history of library cataloging whose focus is the invention, rise, and fall of the card catalog along with its collection of photographs. Personally, I would have preferred an ultra-condensed history of library cataloging to allow room for more photographs. The text dragged and appeared forced at times like a term paper by a student unable to decide what to leave out and instead attempting to cram in all the facts. But it did provide important background information, especially for those readers outside the library world. Even I learned a few new things such as the font Library Hand was developed by Thomas Edison in collaboration with Melvil Dewey and the description of card catalogs as "paper machines." While the earliest history of books and printing is simplified to the point that it is misleading in places (e.g., the books in medieval libraries were chained to prevent theft due to their enormous value and not because of diabolic monks wished to keep them out of the hands of the irreligious laity) -- as a student of the history of the book, please forgive me this rare opportunity for snobbery, the overview is sound overall. The history of catalog cards can be traced back to Zenodotus, the first librarian at the Library of Alexandria, who hit upon the idea of recording the name, title, and subject for each book in the library's collection, which has remained the foundation of library cataloging to the very present. Inventories evolved from a catalog book to catalog cards, which are easier to keep up-to-date in real time than a book that is only revised and reprinted every few years, and finally library inventories progressed to digital records, rendering paper catalogs, whose foremost limitation is requiring a large amount of storage space, obsolete. When concluding with the card catalog's swan song as paper fell to the digital revolution, the authors neglect to mention card catalog's superiority to online catalog. For all its faults, card catalogs don't require electricity and remain functional during internet outages and server malfunctions. Catalog cards are inexpensive to create, and once created, they are virtually cost-free to maintain. Unlike digital files, paper cards don't require tech support, global updates, continual hardware upgrades, or migration to different software platforms. Short of a fire, there is no risk that large amounts of data will be lost due to a "computer glitch." For small scale operations, the card catalog may actually be superior to an online one for these very reasons. This is situation is similar to how, in the medical world, paper charting is easier and more cost-effective (and more secure) than electronic record keeping for small practices with single office locations. Any bibliophile will enjoy this book if for no other reason than the photographs. Older readers who grew up with the card catalog will be filled with the best possible kind of nostalgia, and younger readers who never used the card catalog will find the same kind of amusement and novelty in card catalogs as in print editions of the encyclopedia.
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  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    What an absolutely delightful book for book lovers! The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures is the kind of book one never tires of returning to again and again. Each random browsing is guaranteed to elicit in readers a silent, internal flutter—but very often, an audible squeal—of pleasure. This collection of absorbing images of original index cards and beautifully-colored photographs is nothing less than a visual homage to books and literature in the broadest sense of those words. What an absolutely delightful book for book lovers! The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures is the kind of book one never tires of returning to again and again. Each random browsing is guaranteed to elicit in readers a silent, internal flutter—but very often, an audible squeal—of pleasure. This collection of absorbing images of original index cards and beautifully-colored photographs is nothing less than a visual homage to books and literature in the broadest sense of those words. For example, here’s what this reviewer’s last couple of casual dives into its pages presented. Dive #1: a handwritten index card cataloging an item by Orville Wright on the stability of aeroplanes. On the facing page is a photograph of the first flight of 120 feet at Kitty Hawk Beach, North Carolina, and also the Wright brothers' patented plans dated 1908.Dive #2: an index card image itemizing Carson McCullers’s book, The Member of the Wedding. The typewritten detail says “see his [sic] The Member of the Wedding,” with a faint handwritten correction of the “his” to “her.” On the facing page is a picture of the book and a 1959 photograph of Carson McCullers.And so it goes on, with one thrilling find after another. From its size and shape, The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures would have you thinking this is a coffee table book, and it could certainly fill that role. But don’t be deceived: there is a robust and polished narrative telling the story of how the card catalog came into being, from “its origins 5,000 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia to modern-day catalogs.”Readers will learn of the Sumerians, who devised cuneiform, the first writing system around 3000 BC, using reeds to imprint wet clay; and of King Alexander the Great, who built the Library of Alexandria as a “monument to Greek cultural supremacy.” Then there is Zenodotus, Alexandria’s first librarian, who organized and alphabetized scrolled material of the day, tagging each with author, title, and subject—that seems obvious to us now, but it was a groundbreaking use of metadata, and the classification system still survives in part today.Before readers know it, they will have read the five short but riveting chapters, and made the journey from reed styli and wet clay, through the labor intensive physical card catalog, to modern-day digitization. But along the way, readers will be exposed to the widest range of tidbits of knowledge from the impact of Johannes Gutenberg’s fifteenth-century invention of moveable type, to Melvil Dewey’s eureka moment when he conceived of “a classification system based on a controlled vocabulary of subject headings represented numerically and further subdivided by decimals,” namely, the Dewey Decimal Classification.The beautiful images and photographs alone make The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures worth its weight in gold. It really is a deeply-satisfying treasure trove of nostalgia, not just for book lovers, but for librarians as well. This reviewer would add that it might also be a valuable and necessary history lesson for current and future generations of technology-suckled, digital natives who wouldn’t know a card catalog if it ran over them!
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  • Joyce
    January 1, 1970
    In reading her foreword, I was gratified to learn that Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress and the first person with an MLS to hold that office, started her career maintaining a card catalog and revered it, as almost an oracle, as many of us in the profession did. The book offers a brief history of the catalog, brief being perhaps appropriate since the card catalog came and went in the space of about 100 years (though cataloging principles live on).The book is a thorough appreciation of the card In reading her foreword, I was gratified to learn that Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress and the first person with an MLS to hold that office, started her career maintaining a card catalog and revered it, as almost an oracle, as many of us in the profession did. The book offers a brief history of the catalog, brief being perhaps appropriate since the card catalog came and went in the space of about 100 years (though cataloging principles live on).The book is a thorough appreciation of the card catalog’s origins and its manifestation in physical, even beautiful form. It’s an exploration of the catalog as a repository of librarians’ knowledge, and how the description of knowledge changed over time. I liked the images showing the oak and brass of the drawers and cabinets, the perfect library hand, and the patina of hands on cards (which Nicholson Baker called out in Discards, a fuller exploration of this theme). I did not know that the Library Bureau sold a library-purposed typewriter, “Much used in writing shelf lists, intercalation being made with it so readily.”French playing cards – initially blank on the back – were the first card stock. The aces were reserved for longer works, so the writing could spill over to the other side - or should I say verso?Melvil Dewey and other library leaders at the Boston Athenaeum and Boston Public Library were the champions of the idea of a standardized catalog. They were also influential in convincing the US Congress to establish the Library of Congress as the collection point for books seeking copyright; to undertake construction of a Union catalog (combining records of the holdings of major research libraries); and to take on the publication and distribution of standardized cards to libraries across the land. These were ideas proposed a full hundred years before enacted, slowed down by a Librarian of Congress who felt that the library should serve only Congress, and that a ‘subjective catalog’ was preferable to any formal organization. It’s difficult to imagine our federal government spending on any such initiatives these days.Most of the book is comprised of facing pages that pair the cover of an important book with its catalog card. The particular card was chosen judiciously and is usually interesting on its face. The catalog card for “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” by Mary Wollstonecraft, for example, shows light pencil markings changing the original subject headings, ‘Woman – Social and moral questions’ and ‘Woman – Rights’ to ‘Women – Social and moral questions’ and ‘Women’s rights,’ respectively. I have a queasy feeling that this change was done in my cataloging lifetime. This is a book to read under a strong light; perhaps even with a magnifying glass, if you want to see some of the book image details. The font color of the editorial notes is very faint, to my eyes.
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  • Dale
    January 1, 1970
    Any person who loves books will want to browse through this ode to the old oak cabinets filled with3" x 5" cards. As a person who typed many hundreds of those cards while working for the Lassen County Library over the years, this book was a walk down memory lane.This book made me appreciate even more the 3000+ books I surround myself each and every day in my home, all organized by the Dewey Decimal System (yes, I am an over-organized person). And it also allowed me to reflect on how much I miss Any person who loves books will want to browse through this ode to the old oak cabinets filled with3" x 5" cards. As a person who typed many hundreds of those cards while working for the Lassen County Library over the years, this book was a walk down memory lane.This book made me appreciate even more the 3000+ books I surround myself each and every day in my home, all organized by the Dewey Decimal System (yes, I am an over-organized person). And it also allowed me to reflect on how much I miss the feel, the texture, the warmth that the card catalog brought to the senses. How much I miss the search through subject headings where fingers landed on a myriad of authors about the subject in which I was interested, giving me a wealth of choices for increasing my knowledge.But most of all, I miss the library of old: quiet, full of people reading newspapers, searching for the next, best read, doing research; children excited about the weekly story hour and the summer reading challenge; the librarians, always willing to go the extra mile to find exactly what the patron needs.I am so thankful my parents read to me as a child, instilling in me and my siblings the love of books. For all the places I am unable to travel to, in a book, I can go anywhere, and the card catalog started me on those journeys.
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  • Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    I started working in libraries in the early 1960’s, first as a student volunteer, then as a paid intern, then, in 1973, as a professional. In the mid-eighties, I managed the public transition from the card catalog in a large academic medical center library to the OPAC. There was a steep learning curve for both the library staff and our users. Most of the library staff handled this major adjustment well; not so well for many of the senior university administrators and faculty (many who felt that I started working in libraries in the early 1960’s, first as a student volunteer, then as a paid intern, then, in 1973, as a professional. In the mid-eighties, I managed the public transition from the card catalog in a large academic medical center library to the OPAC. There was a steep learning curve for both the library staff and our users. Most of the library staff handled this major adjustment well; not so well for many of the senior university administrators and faculty (many who felt that using a keyboard/typing was beneath them). So I really, really treasured this book and it's many illustrations of notable book covers along with their original card catalog cards. It reminded me of just how quickly I could "flick my thumb" in a rapid search through the cards in the catalog (I did go on to learn other more useful skills). As I look across the room at my grandmother's 1918 clock, still ticking along, and the catalog card encased in acrylic glass sitting in front of it, I ponder the life cycle of various technologies and how new technologies build on what has gone before.PS - a shout-out to the many, many librarians and staff who work behind the scenes in acquiring, cataloging, and managing a library's collection, be it print or digital.
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  • Warren-Newport Public Library
    January 1, 1970
    The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures is the Library of Congress’s (LOC) homage to the card catalog. The book gives a good overview of library history (the roots of the card catalog go all the way back to ancient Sumer) with a heavy emphasis on the LOC’s role as the leading U.S. library and producer of card-catalog cards.Although the text shows a healthy respect for those three-by-five index cards of old, it warns readers not to get too nostalgic for the days of the card catalog The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures is the Library of Congress’s (LOC) homage to the card catalog. The book gives a good overview of library history (the roots of the card catalog go all the way back to ancient Sumer) with a heavy emphasis on the LOC’s role as the leading U.S. library and producer of card-catalog cards.Although the text shows a healthy respect for those three-by-five index cards of old, it warns readers not to get too nostalgic for the days of the card catalog. The old card catalogs made huge demands on libraries’ available spaces, and filing all those cards was a tedious, never-ending task. Online public access catalogs (OPACs), which have replaced the card catalog in most settings, are an improvement in almost every way.Lavishly illustrated with facsimiles of classic book covers and their corresponding card catalog cards, this volume is essentially a coffee-table book without the oversized dimensions. This book is a worthy tribute to a bygone library era and is highly recommended. (Amy B.)
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  • Jan Polep
    January 1, 1970
    If you have ever worked in a library, been a life-long library user, or dropped a card catalog drawer and had the cards all fall out...you are going to love this book. Photos of first editions with their corresponding LC catalog cards are a feast for a booklover's eyes. One of my favorite personal stories is people would rip a card out of a drawer, bring it to me, and say, "Where can I find this one." Aaaaargh. You could never have enough subject headings so it's a good thing the catalogs are go If you have ever worked in a library, been a life-long library user, or dropped a card catalog drawer and had the cards all fall out...you are going to love this book. Photos of first editions with their corresponding LC catalog cards are a feast for a booklover's eyes. One of my favorite personal stories is people would rip a card out of a drawer, bring it to me, and say, "Where can I find this one." Aaaaargh. You could never have enough subject headings so it's a good thing the catalogs are gone but this is a wonderful look at the "old days".
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  • Ellen
    January 1, 1970
    I think this book had some great information, but I was left wanting more. I didn't care as much about the pictures of books and their catalog cards as I did the history of cataloging and the pictures that went along with that information. If it had been more of what I was looking for, I would have given it a higher rating.
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  • Käthe
    January 1, 1970
    I knew I was going to love this book when I bought it, but I loved it even more than I thought I would!! ❤❤❤❤ I knew I was going to love this book when I bought it, but I loved it even more than I thought I would!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
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  • Kitty
    January 1, 1970
    Highly recommended to bibliophiles and library lovers. Nice coverage of African American literary treasures. Note: my husband thought it was pretty funny that I was reading a book about card catalogs, but it was an obvious choice to me!
  • Deborah
    January 1, 1970
    I liked what is there, but I would have preferred more text, most of the book was just pictures.
  • Robin
    January 1, 1970
    I checked this out from the library and when I was finished with it, I didn't want to bring it back. A book the library lover in your life may want to buy and keep. A great gift
  • Dean
    January 1, 1970
    A lovely Coffee Table work, a great collector's items and fun to own. I recommend this.
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