Card catalogs

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Card catalogs remain important at the Folger Shakespeare Library, since not all items are described in Hamnet and hierarchical finding aids. In addition, they tell us something about what was important to scholars in the past: when you only have 3 x 5 inch cards, and no easy way to duplicate them, it's not feasible to include the lengthy descriptions and long lists of access points found in Folger catalog records today.

What can only (or mostly) be found through Folger card catalogs

  • Early modern Continental books acquired before 1997 that have not yet been cataloged.
  • Eighteenth-century books acquired before 1997 that have not yet been cataloged.
  • Costumes
  • Illustrations in early English books at the Folger (mostly STCs, but some Wings)
  • Playbills

See also the [List of card catalogs] at the Folger.

Tips for using a card catalog

  • Alphabetizing conventions date to pre-computer days. Noteworthy differences include:
    • Abbreviations file as if spelled
    • Numerals file as if spelled out
    • Initial articles are ignored (same with online catalogs)
    • Names beginning "Mc" and "Mac" are all filed as if spelled "Mac"
    • Vowels with an umlaut are spelled out (or filed as if spelled out) with an added "e" (e.g.