My predecessors, who worked here in the days before the internet, were avid collectors of clippings and filers of facts. Anything that they thought would be useful was either copied down or pasted onto an index card and filed away for the ages – or in this case, until I got my hands on it.
Somehow (it’s a long story) I ended up keeping the “death” section of our old quotation files. Here are a few examples, for your amusement.
You might note that the 1965 card refers to the “Mounted Poetry Collection.” Yes, our librarians typed or copied oft-requested poems and mounted them on sheets of cardboard that were lovingly crammed into filing cabinets. I used the collection myself, back in the day – I started working here in 1999 (when the internet was not so useful), so we still dug into the quotation and poetry files fairly often.
They’re still legible, because these long-retired librarians were taught to write in Library Hand. I’m so glad that I’m allowed to type nearly everything, as good old Melvil Dewey would find my handwriting deeply offensive.
This last card is a wonderful combination of handwriting and clipping, plus it features a special “NEW YORK TIMES” stamp. And if you really really want to read more of that lousy poetry, my excellent coworker Don suggests checking out The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll – though I can tell you by looking at the circulation statistics that it’s not very popular. Oh, well.
There you have it, a little more library history preserved for the ages.
– Amy, who keeps writing about things other than Film & Audio