Library Machinery

In reading through the North Carolina University Magazine from 1890, we found the following interesting announcement in the “Library Notes” column:

Students of the Latin and Greek Seminary have begun a card catalogue of the Classical Department in the Library. It is much to be desired that the first move towards providing what is now an absolute necessity may be followed by some determined effort on the part of the Faculty and Societies. There is, perhaps, no other library of thirty-four thousand volumes in the country without a card catalogue. Such a compilation is indispensible—a regular part of library machinery, as much so as the alcoves, the shelves, Poole’s Index, or Encyclopædia Brittanica.

One thought on “Library Machinery”

  1. I have a bit of UNC-CH’s library machinery stored in the barn behind my father’s house. The metal gears that once regulated the dumb waiter used at one time to haul books into the Dialectic Society Library was being discarded in the recent renovation of the New West Hall. Knowing that I wanted to “preserve” this early piece of North Carolina library technology but having no idea how heavy the thing would be, I asked permission to haul it away and appeared at the ripped apart building one afternoon to find that there was NO WAY I was going to be able to move this thing by myself. So I put on my best manners and convinced the workers of the value of this important piece of scrap metal that had to be preserved. They looked upon the bent metal rod and oversized gear with new appreciation (ahem) and thanks to their strong backs and kindness, I was able to haul it down from the top floor and install it in the back of my pickup, springs pinging. SOOOOO, now in the Lincoln COunty backcountry rests an “important” part of Carolina’s library history. If anyone wants it, they better bringa few friends with strong backs!

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