The Fascinating History of Card Catalogs
So don't disengage just yet...
The Library of Congress just released a book on the history of the card catalog, and while I can physically feel you clicking away from this article even as I type I recommend that you don't.
The Card Catalog makes a persuasive case that cataloging knowledge is fundamental to the acquisition and spread of knowledge, and that a working library catalog is, in some ways, a basic necessity of civilization. And since cataloging is a calling that attracts neurotic and obsessive personalities, the history of the library catalog charts a weird, twisty path, with a lot of back-tracking followed by enormous leaps forward.