The Card Catalog

The Card Catalog

Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures

Book - 2017
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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.
Publisher: San Francisco :, Chronicle Books,, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781452145402
Branch Call Number: 025.313 CA
Characteristics: 224 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 24 cm


From the critics

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KHCPL_Wagner Aug 06, 2018

A celebration of the card catalog as historical artifact and literary artwork. Magnifique!

Nov 27, 2017

Loved it! A book geek's required reading. Beautiful photos and interestingly informative history of the card catalog.

CatherineG_1 Oct 11, 2017

For library geeks - loved the original catalog cards as well as the original novel covers of some of my favourite books.

Found the information about decks of cards and cataloguing quite interesting.

Aug 24, 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. No matter where you stand on the evolution of library cataloging, if you love reading, you will enjoy this book. It is readable, fascinating, and full of quirky facts and characters. From ancient carved tablets, to printed, bound indexes, to MARC records, the need for readers to quickly locate needed materials has always existed. The role of the Library of Congress and the standardization of cataloging is described and reads like well-written fiction. Highly recommended.

Jun 30, 2017

This book, written and published by the Library of Congress, celebrates the library card catalog, the gateway to the wonders of a library's collection, with the following five chapters:
Chapter 1: Origin of the Card Catalog
Chapter 2: The Enlightened Catalog
Chapter 3: Constructing a Catalog
Chapter 4: The Nation's Library and Catalog
Chapter 5: The Rise and Fall of the Card Catalog

Librarians, Catalogers. Archivists, and Indexers, either by education, training, or vocation, or all three, will delight in this book, as will history buffs and nerds. I fill most of those categories, so I took great pleasure in this wonderful, interesting book.

If I had one complaint, it would be the absence of citations. For example, there is the following comment: Hundreds of artists, craftsmen, sculptors, masons, steamfitters, plumbers, and carpenters collaborated on the construction [in the construction of the new Library of Congress]…. During construction, a reporter who had been granted access to the site became lost in the labyrinth of book stacks, and after wandering aimlessly for hours, finally stumbled across a worker who guided him out. Without attribution, this statement sounds like urban legend. In addition, frequently there are various undated quotes. Without attribution, it's difficult to know the context in which these statements were made.

These caveats aside, this is a wonderful book for librarians, catalogers, archivists, indexers, history buffs, and nerds, or just anyone who has fond memories of the card catalog or anyone to know the pleasures of the card catalog.

JohnK_KCMO May 15, 2017

This is an excellent coffee table book covering the history of the card catalog - how it was developed, the role of the Library of Congress in this history, and why cards were eventually replaced with computer catalogs. It's well-researched, easy to read, and lushly illustrated. It acknowledges the nostalgia many feel for old card catalogs but offers a realistic assessment of its limitations.


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Jun 12, 2018

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