Doing research at the Columbia University Library, I stumbled into a room (yes a room!) filled with drawers holding the card catalogue. Remember those? Those pieces of card with subject and/or author information that you touched and flipped through? Remember the serendipity of research when, as you located your subject, you stumbled across other possible sources and ideas that you hadn’t thought of before? You know, all that stuff around your focus?
Ah, how wonderful to actually take the drawers out and leaf through these cards. Of course, Columbia University librarians are not Luddites; they have plenty of computers and digitalized catalogues of their collections. But whereas many libraries have discarded their card catalogues, Columbia proudly maintains its cards… and I enthusiastically dipped in.