Library supply catalog from 1899

Originally published at: Library supply catalog from 1899 | Boing Boing


I rather enjoyed the Gaylord catalog that my wife in the 1990s, a librarian, received in the mail once a year. A nerd could get lost in that thing. Hundreds of pages of library accoutrements!


We had those folding steps in the kitchen in the 60s and 70s. After that, I was tall enough to reach the things my Mom could not.

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Are you trying to break my brain? This chair is unpossible! Is this some sort of @fraunfelder riddle?

Also, is @fraunfelder anonymized now? I demand to speak to my captors!

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Huh? The step part is detachable and stored upside down in the stool part. I don’t see the unpossibility


Where do all the extra crosspieces come from? Even if that top rung is already there on the “front” side, those lower step legs would stick up out of the part where the main legs taper into the top step. I guess it is NTS.

I’ve spent too much time staring at this thing already.

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I do not miss filing catalog cards.


I have one of those perforators in my office. It still works, too, though some of the pins have trouble punching through the paper.

The LoC uses those perforators.

the stool is just sparsely illustrated. Maybe to make it harder to build your own?

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I bought a folk music record at a Library sale, but when I got it home the disc was actually junior librarian training instructions on how to operate the card catalog. Home was half a continent away, so I didn’t bring it back.


You are right the legs will be proud of the taper (in the illustration) once it is rotated and there is at least one missing stretcher on the open illy.


NB notice the primary use of metric in the catalog. Melvil Dewey was a big fan of the metric system

Not any more, do they? The perforators are fairly destructive and your average book conservator would never ever in a million years allow their use.

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81m. Mimeograph. Libraries find many uses for a good duplicating process in printing lists of duplicates, …

Come again?

(It must have been especially suitable for those libraries which were funded by the Droste Foundation*.)


One hopes they had fun folk-dancing at their next new-hires training session!


You have opened Pandora’s box.


Well they certainly were in the mid 80s, when I worked there. Not with rare materials obviously.

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