April 30, 2007

Card Catalogs

We've had vintage library card catalogs on the brain recently. We love everything about them- the little wooden drawers, the smell of the cards, the nostalgia of something from the past that has all but been replaced by computers. We are still on the hunt for the perfect card catalog to put in our home (preferably dark wood, like the one pictured about which is from the library at Tulane University), and until we find one, we'll continue to be inspired the ones pictured below:

This card catalog and collection of vintage books is from the lobby of one of our favorite brunch places in New York, Public.

A few weeks ago I saw this post about a site where you can type in any information you want to turn into a catalog card. Click here to make your own.

A craft room is a great place for a card catalog. This one, from Bits & Bobbins, looks like a perfect place to store all your... well... bits and bobbins!

An entire card catalog wall from the University of Wisconsin.


Conn said...

Always inspiring. Always the best links.

Donovan Beeson said...

I'm on eBay all the time looking for a card catalog. I do find a healthy number available, but mostly only for local pickup. Happy hunting.

baffle said...

Nothing beats the look, sound, feel and even the smell of an old library card catalogue.

Yes, it would be nice to have one in the home, just to experience again the 'soft' opening and closing of those drawers!

Way back when I was a kid, we got lessons on how to read the (typed and sometimes hand-written!)info on the cards.

I recall when the card catalogs were being phased out. It was sad to see the signs 'no longer updated, please search in
microfiche', which was the new system. Clearly more efficient, but NOT pleasing in any tactile or aesthetic way, like the wooden drawers with the little cards.

I resisted for as long as possible.

Christina Amini said...

I haven't been lucky enough to procure a card catalog wall, but I do have some of the catalog drawers (which have moved with me from California to NYC and back). They're perfect for holding tape cassettes.

Anonymous said...

Wandered across this post on card catalog cabinets this morning. I have one that I bought at an auction when the main library of the University was getting ready for renovation a few years ago. The card catalog had long been retired, but the big cabinets had remained. They sold most of the old furniture along with the cabinets, and I was determined to be the lucky high bidder. So now I have a 72 drawer cabinet, which is hands down the BEST art supply cabinet ever! Mine has one unfinished side, since it was part of the very large bank of cabinets that served a research library of over 4 million volumes. Someday I'll have a carpenter put a finishing piece on it. For now I just have it situated so that that side is facing a corner. There were a couple of smaller ones, but they didnt' have the wonderful brass fittings of the big ones.

Since I'm also a librarian...it's cool to own this little vestige of professional nostalgia.

Good luck with your search for the perfect piece!

Anonymous said...

I have a 72 drawer card catalog from UCSB for sale on eBay. I believe it may just be what you are looking for! Let me know if you are interested!

eBay item #: 260150241534