This is probably the most pleasant, and by extension, interesting, history of something as mundane as a card catalog as I'm likely to ever run across. From the first example of a book catalog, pressed into clay in cuneiform, to the modern day usage of MARC records, the text flows in a tight, succinct narrative that is neither chatty nor dry (and I'm sure nowhere near comprehensive).
Where the book truly shines is in its photographs and illustrations. The author and publisher were generous with the photographs and they fill at least 1/3 of the pages. Most of them are photos of the old cards and the books they belong to, but there are many old pictures of the Library of Congress and other related images. The number of cards the Library of Congress had to deal with daily in the mid-50's is staggering. I can't even imagine the logistics.
Did you know that the Library of Congress still has their old card catalog and it's still in use? (Most of it.) I think that's wonderful and the perfect example of how old and new methodologies can complement each other instead of competing.
This isn't the kind of book that's going to have wide appeal, but for those that find the subject interesting, it's a beautiful book, thoughtfully put together.
Page count: 220
Dollars banked: $3.00