Friday, November 01, 2019
Life Before Google
I was raised before computers, when the library card catalog and a good encyclopedia were the source of the answers. A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to wander around the Library of Congress, they stopped updating card catalog in 1980 (just three years after I finished high school.) It is still there, people were pulling the card for books they had published and having their picture taken with the card. You can't do that with Google.
Computer databases have changed research and scholarship. The answers are faster and in some ways easier to find. There are times when paging a few cards forward or back, or a few pages forward or back would find the perfect answer, that is hard to do on a computer. And the answers we get in an online search are limited based on what is popular or highly rated, not always what is best. I am working on a journal article, so far I have one paper book cited in a footnote, and about two dozen online citations. My how things have changed in my lifetime.
Did you go to school before Google?