“They are nearly extinct in their natural habitat. In the James Library & Center for the Arts in Norwell, one maintains its position at the end of a large bookcase near the center of the room, its counterpart sentry for an antique grandfather clock. In the Dyer Memorial Library in Abington, it has been relegated to the corner, left mostly untouched for the past decade. They are the wooden card catalog cabinets, once an essential component of town and school libraries. Now they are mostly relics of the past, repurposed in some cases to hold recipes, display Christmas cards, or stash canned goods.” (via The Boston Globe)
“Earlier in the summer (and recently noted at The Rumpus), the Recorder of Greenfield, Massachusetts wrote about a community college librarian who saved her library’s card catalog by transforming it. After lives in dark drawers, 128 of the cards—now marked by their corresponding authors—have been preserved as a permanent installation on the library’s walls.” (via MobyLives)
“Once central to any quest to locate books within a library, the fate of card catalogs was sealed with the rise of the Internet and computer searches, relegating many of those index cards to the country’s basements, storage cabinets and trash bins. But on a wall in the corner of Greenfield Community College’s Nahman-Watson Library, 128 artifacts from the library’s card catalog hang preserved in a glass case – signed by the authors who penned the very books to which the cards once led.” (via AP)
“The card catalog drawers at Doheny Library haven’t had cards in them for years. They are built into the wall of a charming alcove off to the left of the circulation desk. Removing them would not necessarily be difficult, but the aesthetics of the little space they occupy is quite enjoyable and older alumni love to regale us with tales of how they spent hours there transcribing titles, call numbers, etc. Rather than remove the drawers, we have instituted a new use: fundraising. Enter the Top Drawer Society.
via Ink and Vellum
AnnArbor.com – “Nothing lasts forever. So it will be said about the University of Michigan Library’s card catalogs when they are removed from their home in the bowels of the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library on March 8. Twelve and a half million volumes strong, the card catalog has been in disuse for more than 20 years, ever since the university established the MIRLYN electronic catalog in 1988.”