Before internet search, there was the card catalog! “Oh Saye, Can You See?” More like “Oh Saye, Can You Search?”

Years ago, Neal, author of the before mentioned blog, accompanied me home to Baltimore, Maryland for my Dad’s 70th birthday bash. While there we decided to ditch the Smith clan and explore the more cultured side of Baltimore. Enter Mount Vernon. Beautiful Washington Monument, museums, gorgeous floral parks with art and statues all around, a gothic looking church, and an old famous library.

The Peabody Library. The George Peabody Library, formerly known as the Library of the Peabody Institute of the City of Baltimore, is the 19th-century focused research library of The Johns Hopkins University. Beautiful in every splendid way, a real wonder to behold. But being an academic, Neal’s interest was drawn to the pre-computer, pre-internet book search formerly known as the card catalog. You ever seen one? Have you ever used one? Hmmmm!

Row after row of drawers. Open one. The senses fire up. Smell old paper and ink. Fingers tactile on cards. Flip through them. Feel them. Each card hand typed with an actual typewriter! Ever seen one of those? Ha!

Author, title, book reference number, row, stacks? Too much! Where is that librarian?!

This library reveals its own history. The library opened its doors in 1878. Find a library and explore.


  1. Yes. Since I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s I remember the card catalog and the Dewey Decimal system very well. Now everything at the Library is computerized.

    1. Author

      I’m a child of the late 1960’s too. I loved the library.

    2. Same here. I Loved the Library and other than my home it was my favorite Place to be. My parents instilled a deep Love of Reading within me. I still Love to Read but I use my Kindle and Audio Books because of vision loss. When you have eyesight limitations technology is a Blessing.

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