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The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary…
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The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures (original 2017; edition 2017)

by Library of Congress (Compiler), Carla Hayden (Foreword)

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2962355,842 (4.18)25
Member:janimar
Title:The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures
Authors:Library of Congress (Compiler)
Other authors:Carla Hayden (Foreword)
Info:Chronicle Books (2017), 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:books, books about books

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The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures by Library of Congress (2017)

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» See also 25 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
The text of this book is a smidgen of book history, a dash of Library of Congress history, with a solid helping of (American) cataloguing history but the real focus here is the images of works and cards from the LoC card catalogue. A delight to flip through for library and book nerds. As a library professional, I also enjoyed the historical photos of some of the work spaces in ye olden days. Beautiful and a deceptively fast read, I definitely recommend it if it strikes your fancy. ( )
  MickyFine | Jan 22, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This gorgeous book is perfect as a gift for a librarian or any bibliophile. Full color images provide a visual history of the Library of Congress by exploring the miscellanea of the library. Windows are opened not only into the library itself, but also the history of librarianship and cataloging. Combining informative text, beautiful images of items from the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, and handwritten cataloging cards to MARC records, this volume covers all the bases. While full of detailed facts, it is never dull as marginalia and short tidbits of library history keep you fascinated. Definite eye candy for those interested in books, libraries, and information storage history.
  ktoonen | Nov 26, 2018 |
This gives a brief history of the card catalog and the Library of Congress. The text reads like a high school text book, but the pictures are great. It was interesting to see some of the rare books and learn what was contained within the Library. ( )
  redwritinghood38 | Nov 6, 2018 |
This book is essentially an essay about the history and importance of the card catalog to organizing and improving libraries of all kinds, but especially the Library of Congress. It was interesting, but there was nothing surprising about the information to someone like me who has used them in the past. Of course, today the information is on computer data bases, but what if someone or something permanently pulls the plug. Then they'll be back, but typed on old manual typewriters or handwritten once again. ( )
  whymaggiemay | Jul 14, 2018 |
This is a delightful book that combines a history of book cataloguing with some great historical images. The timeline ranges from the Great Library of Alexandria, when the notion of somehow classifying and cataloguing all those scrolls first began, to modern-day electronic catalogs. But the bulk of the story, as the title suggests, is about the classic card catalog — individual 3- by 5-inch cards that contain the vital bibliographic information needed to help library staff and patrons find books on the shelves. With encouragement from the fledgling American Library Association, the Library of Congress was perhaps the key player in standardizing the card catalog by creating and selling printed cards to libraries across the country to build their own catalogs without each having to re-create the wheel, so to speak. The description and images of the room where this took place gives a hint at the immense scale of the project, which sometimes threatened to overwhelm the actual cataloguing of books.

As informative as I found the text to be, the illustrations are the real star of the show. Along with the historical images, there are many sets of images showing classic book covers, frontispieces or title pages, paired with that volume's corresponding catalog card. Some of the cards are handwritten, some are printed, but it's fascinating to explore each one and remember just how much information could be squeezed onto a small index card. If you're of an age (as I am) to remember actually using card catalogs, I'm sure you will feel the same sense of nostalgia that I did. I spent many a happy hour in a library, letting the cross-references on cards lead me on a merry chase across the catalog and through the author, subject, and title cards it contained. It reminds me of using a dictionary, where looking up one word inevitably leads me on a happy browse through related and unrelated terms.

Because the images are such an important element, I would recommend reading this book either in paper format or as an ebook on a color screen. I used my iPad and was happy to be able to enlarge the images to see details. I didn't even try to read it on my e-ink reader, though, as I can't imagine that small black-and-white format would provide any joy for this book. ( )
2 vote rosalita | Jun 28, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
This book about card catalogues, written and published in cooperation with the Library of Congress, is beautifully produced, intelligently written and lavishly illustrated. ... “The Card Catalog” is many things: a lucid overview of the history of bibliographic practices, a paean to the Library of Congress, a memento of the cherished card catalogues of yore and an illustrated collection of bookish trivia.
 

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Library of Congressprimary authorall editionscalculated
Devereaux, PeterEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Hayden, CarlaForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson, BrookeDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The origin of the card catalog goes back to the cradle of civilization nestled in the fertile ground between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
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Book description
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.
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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.… (more)

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