Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I want the Answer Now!

Yet to be Converted Card Catalogs, Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Some refer to it as life before Google, how we cataloged and searched the collected knowledge of the nation and the world before computers, card catalogs. The Library of Congress had thousands of drawers like these, that held tens-of-millions of cards, indexed and cross indexed. In a few minutes, a skilled researcher could find, what Google can now find in less then a second. Steadily the cards are being converted to computer databases, and yes the cards are going away.  One at a time, card by card.  All new holdings are still reviewed and indexed - the way it has been done for centuries, but the data is stored electronically, so when I ask my phone for the answer, it can give me the answer NOW!


  1. I remember these! and it was an efficient system for back in the day. now it's instant gratification, and not always for the better.

  2. I too remember these. They seem more truthful and trustworthy than the rubbish floating around on the internet.