- Nov 2022
Victor Margolin's note taking and writing process
- Collecting materials and bibliographies in files based on categories (for chapters)
- Reads material, excerpts/note making on 5 x 7" note cards
- Generally with a title (based on visual in video)
- excerpts have page number references (much like literature notes, the refinement linking and outlining happens separately later in his mapping and writing processes)
- filed in a box with tabbed index cards by chapter number with name
- video indicates that he does write on both sides of cards breaking the usual rule to write only on one side
- Uses large pad of newsprint (roughly 18" x 24" based on visualization) to map out each chapter in visual form using his cards in a non-linear way. Out of the diagrams and clusters he creates a linear narrative form.
- Tapes diagrams to wall
- Writes in text editor on computer as he references the index cards and the visual map.
"I've developed a way of working to make this huge project of a world history of design manageable."<br /> —Victor Margolin
Notice here that Victor Margolin doesn't indicate that it was a process that he was taught, but rather "I've developed". Of course he was likely taught or influenced on the method, particularly as a historian, and that what he really means to communicate is that this is how he's evolved that process.
"I begin with a large amount of information." <br /> —Victor Margolin
"As I begin to write a story begins to emerge because, in fact, I've already rehearsed this story in several different ways by getting the information for the cards, mapping it out and of course the writing is then the third way of telling the story the one that will ultimately result in the finished chapters."<br /> —Victor Margolin
- Oct 2022
While he previously recommended using note cards of the same size, the examples in Goutor (1980) have 3x5" cards for bibliographic notes and 5x7" or larger cards for content notes. (p19, 21)
Is there a reason stated anywhere here for this discrepancy or change? One would ostensibly keep them in different places/sections of one's card index, but does the size difference help to differentiate the two to aid in sorting? Is the larger card intended to hold more long form writing?
Goutor is in Canada, so were 5x7" cards more common or standardized there in the late 1970s and early 80s?
A5 measures 148 × 210 millimeters or 5.83 × 8.27 inches, so is a bit larger than 5x7".
5x7" is a more standard photo size, so was this chosen as the result of storage options from the photography space?
5x7" is scantly available in America in 2022, but only from Hamilco. A few others make cardstock in that size but not specifically as index cards.