Monday, September 24, 2007
Remember those card catalogs you used to see in libraries, before they got replaced by computer databases? (The one above was in Yale University's Sterling Memorial Library; thanks to Wikipedia for the image.) They can still make wonderful storage for all sorts of things.
Uses for a Card Catalog
1. As I noted on Friday, some people use them to store LEGO bricks.
2. Tricia Royal of Bits & Bobbins uses hers for art and sewing supplies. Isn't that gorgeous? [via Apartment Therapy]
3. The folks at Publib, a discussion group for public librarians, are full of suggestions.
Ar least two people noted that wine bottles fit perfectly into the drawers.
Helen Rigdon says, "The drawers are perfect size for storing a quart size of liquor (I think that’s the 150 ml size now???) But I don’t have EVERY drawer filled that way. I store candles, napkins, flashlights and other odds and ends in the drawers."
Alison Baker writes, "I have one in my kitchen - and it is filled. The drawers are the perfect width for standard cans, spice jars, certain packaged food too. The pull out shelf works great for checking through the recipe box or cookbooks. The bottom row - I have a tall one - is reserved for tools."
Nann Blaine Hilyard says, "I use a 30-drawer Library Bureau unit in my quilting studio to hold thread and notions."
And Mary Maw, who notes the her card catalog is not made of beautiful woods, writes, "My husband stores files, plumbing parts, electrical parts, nails, etc. in the drawers."
Where to Find a Card Catalog
1. eBay or craiglist sometimes have card catalogs for sale. The one shown above - beautifully restored - is currently listed on the San Francisco Bay Area craigslist.
2. Libraries getting rid of their card catalogs will often auction them off - but since many have already disposed of theirs, I imagine there's less chance of getting one this way then there was in prior years.
3. A card catalog just sold on GovDeals, and another one is available. Just browse the category Library Equipment.
4. Michelle Caulk found hers at an estate sale.
5. You can still buy new card catalogs from LibrarySuppliers.com and Demco.com. Update on May 14, 2010: I no longer see them at LibrarySuppliers.com -but Demco still sells some.
More Reading (with great pictures)
See what woodworker George Brooks-Hutton (nicknamed Huttonio Brooks) has done with cabinets he got from the University of California at Berkeley.