of a library's items. According to Jin Ranz's book, The Printed Book
Catalogue in American Libraries: 1723-1900, librarians were using cards
to keep track of any additions to the catalogue between printings of the
book catalogues. This was more convenient than the books because entries
could be "interfiled, arranged, and rearranged to suit their various
purposes," (Ranz, 52). These cards were also available for patrons to
From 1900 to the 1970's, card catalogs were the widespread way in which
materials were filed. In the late 1970's, online catalogs were introduced.
Today, the online catalog allows people to access virtually any library's
collection from thousands of miles away.
The images on this page represent rules for card catalogs. The Card
Catalogs and Card Catalogs II pages show the varying formats of card
catalogs. The Bowdoin Catalog page and the Guilford Library page represent
Above is the title page from the third edition of Library School Rules by
Melvil Dewey. The book offers guidelines for creating card catalogs, how
to put entries in an accession book, and how to formulate a shelf list.
From Decimal Clasification and Relativ Index
The title page from the Library School Card Catalog Rules instituted by
Be sure to check out the Online Computer Library
Center (OCLC) for information on "furthering access to
the world's information and reducing information costs."
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looking for more items to include. Please contact: email@example.com
published in 1927. An excerpt from the introduction, below, explains part of
Dewey's philosophy of library classification. Note the simplified spellings,
as Dewey was a proponent of English language spelling reform. He was
also a supporter of using short-hand and the metric system
The plan if this Clasification and Index was developt erly in 1873,
the result of long study of library economy as found in hundreds of
books and pamflets, and in over 50 personal visits to libraries.
This study aded expense. Only a fraction of the servis posibl cud
be got from them without clasification, catalogs, indexes and other
aids, to tel librarians and readers what they contained on any givn
subject; yet, by methods then uzed, this cud be dun satisfactorily
only at a cost so great as to be prohibitiv to all but a few welthy
Click here for OCLC's Dewey Classification website.