Another Use for a Dead Card Catalog

When libraries began discarding their card catalogs in the 1980s and 1990s, there was much gnashing of teeth for people that grew up using one of the early information retrieval systems, typed or hand written on 3X5 cards. As long as there was an author, title, or subject card, you could find what you were looking for.

The wooden card catalogs were things of beauty. Whether a 6 drawer set sitting atop some file cabinet or rows of catalogs that filled a room with their lovely wooden symmetry.

The Graduate Hotel (formerly a Howard Johnson’s) in Charlottesville, has turned two card catalogs into their front desk. I don’t know their provenance but I hope they may have been repurposed from one of the University of Virginia Libraries.

In pre-Covid times, the tassels indicated which drawers held treats. The tassels near the floor held dog treats in this dog friendly hotel.

14 thoughts on “Another Use for a Dead Card Catalog”

    1. Yeah, GP. Thanks for commenting. My main problem was trying to figure out what the Library of Congress subject heading really was. Who would have guessed that women in the military would be United States–Armed Forces-Women?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Yeah but one of my library school projects was Women in the Military and I had to find the first subject heading that would get me there. And they probably did not have WAC as a subject heading it would have been somethings like United States–Army–Women’s Army Corps (WAC). That is not intuitive, at least to me.


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