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  1. Last 7 days
    1. Nabokov’s working notecards for “Lolita.”

      Nabokov used index cards for his research and writing. In one index card for research on Lolita, he creates a "weight-heigh-age table for girls of school age" to be able to specify Lolita's measurements. He also researched the Colt catalog of 1940 to get gun specifications to make those small points realistic in his writing.

      syndication link

  2. May 2024
    1. I have run across Jeff Shelton's Analog system (originally via Kickstarter) before. Thanks for the reminder.

      There's also a slew of others, especially for folks looking at commercially preprinted cards (though I tend to think they're overpriced compared to blank cards): - The Hipster PDA (Parietal Disgorgement Aid) https://web.archive.org/web/20040906150523/https://merlin.blogs.com/43folders/2004/09/introducing_the.html - Pile of Index Cards (PoIC) https://www.flickr.com/photos/hawkexpress/albums/72157594200490122/ - Levenger https://www.levenger.com/products/triple-decker-pocket-planner?variant=42485422424213 (among others they carry including pocket briefcases) - Notsu https://notsubrand.com/ - Baronfig / Strategist: https://baronfig.com/products/strategist?variant=39787199529043 - Jeff Shelton's Analog system https://ugmonk.com/ - 3x5 Life https://www.3x5life.com/ - Foglietto https://www.nerosnotes.co.uk/collections/foglietto - Jot & Mark https://amzn.to/3Qs26Je

      Am I missing any significant or influential examples, particularly branded ones?

      Hubnote for 3 x 5" index cards for productivity

  3. Apr 2024
    1. The Varidex is the name given to onemethod-a direct expanding index made inletter , bill and le gal sizes. In this systemthe general plan of tab positions is similarto the direct alphabetic system. It main-tains the fam iliar sectional arrangementfor guide s, individual and )Jliscellaneousfo ld er s.
    1. scihuy 0 points1 point2 points 2 hours ago (1 child)Hi, Can you point out any articles on note-taking in the sciences as opposed to history or social sciences? Any pointers would be very helpful

      reply to u/scihuy at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/1c2b2d6/note_taking_in_the_past/kzcg3qa/

      I posed your question to my own card index:

      Generally scientists haven't spent the time to talk about their methods the way those in the social sciences and humanities are apt to do. This being said, their methods are unsurprisingly all the same.

      If you want to look up examples, you can delve into the nachlass (digitized or not) of most of the famous scientists and mathematicians out there to verify this. Ramon Llull certainly wrote, but broadly memorized all of his work; Newton had his wastebooks; Leibnitz used Thomas Harrison's Ark of Studies cabinet; Carl Linnaeus "invented" index cards for his work (search for the work of Staffan Müller-Wille and Isabelle Charmantier); Erasmus Darwin and Charles Darwin both used commonplace books; physicist Mario Bunge had a significant zettelkasten practice; Richard Feynman used notebooks; engineer Ross Ashby used a combination of notebooks which he indexed using a card index.

      For historical reasons, most used a commonplace book method in which they indexed against keywords rather than Luhmann's variation, but broadly the results are the same either way.

      Computer scientist Gerald Weinberg is one of the few I'm aware of within the sciences who's written a note taking manual, but again, his method is broadly the same as that described by other writers for centuries:

      Weinberg, Gerald M. Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method. New York, N.Y: Dorset House, 2005.

      I identify as both a mathematician and an engineer, and I have a paper-based zettelkasten for these areas, primarily as I prefer writing out equations versus attempting to write everything out as LaTeX. I'm sure others here could add their experiences as well. I've previously written about zettelkasten from the framing of set theory, topology, dense sets, and have even touched on it with respect to the ideas of equivalence classes and category theory, though I haven't published much in depth here as most don't have the mathematical sophistication to appreciate the structures and analogies.

    1. Michael Macdonald amassed a vast collection of photographs of these texts and launched a digital Safaitic database, with the help of Laïla Nehmé, a French archeologist and one of the world’s leading experts on early Arabic inscriptions. “When we started working, Michael’s corpus was all on index cards,” Nehmé recalled. “With the database, you could search for sequences of words across the whole collection, and you could study them statistically. It worked beautifully.”

      Researcher Michael Macdonald created a card index database of safaitic inscriptions which he and French archaeologist Laïla Nehmé eventually morphed into a digital database which included a collection of photographs of the extant texts.

    1. "I made a great study of theology at one time," said Mr Brooke, as if to explain the insight just manifested. "I know something of all schools. I knewWilberforce in his best days.6Do you know Wilberforce?"Mr Casaubon said, "No.""Well, Wilberforce was perhaps not enough of a thinker; but if I went intoParliament, as I have been asked to do, I should sit on the independent bench,as Wilberforce did, and work at philanthropy."Mr Casaubon bowed, and observed that it was a wide field."Yes," said Mr Brooke, with an easy smile, "but I have documents. I began along while ago to collect documents. They want arranging, but when a question has struck me, I have written to somebody and got an answer. I have documents at my back. But now, how do you arrange your documents?""In pigeon-holes partly," said Mr Casaubon, with rather a startled air of effort."Ah, pigeon-holes will not do. I have tried pigeon-holes, but everything getsmixed in pigeon-holes: I never know whether a paper is in A or Z.""I wish you would let me sort your papers for you, uncle," said Dorothea. "Iwould letter them all, and then make a list of subjects under each letter."Mr Casaubon gravely smiled approval, and said to Mr Brooke, "You have anexcellent secretary at hand, you perceive.""No, no," said Mr Brooke, shaking his head; "I cannot let young ladies meddle with my documents. Young ladies are too flighty."Dorothea felt hurt. Mr Casaubon would think that her uncle had some special reason for delivering this opinion, whereas the remark lay in his mind aslightly as the broken wing of an insect among all the other fragments there, anda chance current had sent it alighting on her.When the two girls were in the drawing-room alone, Celia said —"How very ugly Mr Casaubon is!""Celia! He is one of the most distinguished-looking men I ever saw. He is remarkably like the portrait of Locke. He has the same deep eye-sockets."

      Fascinating that within a section or prose about indexing within MiddleMarch (set in 1829 to 1832 and published in 1871-1872), George Eliot compares a character's distinguished appearance to that of John Locke!

      Mr. Brooke asks for advice about arranging notes as he has tried pigeon holes but has the common issue of multiple storage and can't remember under which letter he's filed his particular note. Mr. Casaubon indicates that he uses pigeon-holes.

      Dorothea Brooke mentions that she knows how to properly index papers so that they might be searched for and found later. She is likely aware of John Locke's indexing method from 1685 (or in English in 1706) and in the same scene compares Mr. Casaubon's appearance to Locke.

    1. [Narrator]: The power of the MC 68000 permitted another breakthrough:the common user interface.[Bill Atkinson]: On Lisa we make each of the programs have a similar user interface,so that what you've learned from using one programcarries over and you feel naturally how to use the next.

      While the idea of a common user interface on computers may have felt like a selling point when facing a new scary machine with a variety of functionalities, did it really save that much time, effort, and learning curve? Particularly with respect to the common office tools it was replacing?

      The common user interface was really more a benefit to the company and all the companies which programmed for it at scale. The benefits are like Melvil Dewey's standardization of the Dewey Decimal Classification which allowed libraries everywhere to work on the same system rather than needing to reinvent their own individually.

      This sort of innovation with scalability is helpful as humans are far better at imitation than innovation.

    2. [Narrator]: The Cluttered Desk, Index Card,file folders, the in-out basket, the calculator.These are the tools of the office professional's past.Since the dawn of the computer age, better machines have always meant bigger and more powerful.But the software could not accommodate the needs of office professionals who are responsiblefor the look, shape and feel of tomorrow.

      In 1983, at the dawn of the personal computer age, Apple Inc. in promotional film entitled "Lisa Soul Of A New Machine" touted their new computer, a 16-bit dual disk drive "personal office system", as something that would do away with "the cluttered desk, index cards, file folders, the in-out basket, [and] the calculator." (00:01)

      Some of these things moved to the realm of the computer including the messy desk(top) now giving people two messy desks, a real one and a virtual one. The database-like structure of the card index also moved over, but the subjective index and its search power were substituted for a lower level concordance search.


      30 years on, for most people, the value of the database idea behind the humble "index card" has long since disappeared and so it seems here as if it's "just" another piece of cluttery paper.


      Appreciate the rosy framing of the juxtaposition of "past" and "future" jumping over the idea of the here and now which includes the thing they're selling, the Lisa computer. They're selling the idealized and unclear future even though it's really just today.

    1. For the purpose of indexing we shall divide 73our stock of names or terms into those ofconcretes, processes and countries, concretes being the com-modities with which we are concerned, processes indicatingtheir actions, and countries indicating the localities with whichthe concretes are connected (295 et seq.) .

      There are likely other metadata he may be missing here: - in particular dates/times/time periods which may be useful for the historians. - others? - general forms of useful metadata from a database perspective?

    2. You cannot buy a ready-made intelligence departmenton which to run your business.
    3. wait his future volumes with aconsiderable amount of interest. The third volume — namely, " The

      this was never produced?

      Elaine Svenonius in Facet Definition: a Case Study https://web.archive.org/web/20220803153450id_/https://www.nomos-elibrary.de/10.5771/0943-7444-1978-3-134.pdf comes to a similar conclusion

    4. The volume we have before us, is thefirst of a series of three,

      Only two volumes of the three were ever produced as far as I can tell.

    5. The subject is treated quite dispassionately,no particular file or cabinet is thrust upon the reader, but the re-quirements of ideal appliances and the state of existing ones aredescribed.

      Further evidence to the claim at https://hypothes.is/a/iQwqzvC4Ee6PrNfzDQurog

    6. Automobile and Carriage Builders' Journal, October 1908. Duringthe last five or six years the carriage builder has been adopting,perhaps slowly, and often unwillingly, the card system in his office.,owing to the extra detail the motor business has brought with it.It will have probably been introduced by a new partner who hasbrought new money into the business, when extra funds were necessaryto cope with the new state of affairs. The motor manufacturer usesit instinctively, for he brings with him,

      as a rule, the law, order, and precision of an engineer's office.

      There's an interesting dichotomy presented here about the tech forwardness of the automobile industry in 1908 versus the tech reticence of the carriage builders in regard to adopting card indexes with respect to their related (though different) industries.

      Me (sarcastically):<br /> "Oh, those backwards carriage builders will get with the 'program' any day now..."

    7. card system are indebted tothese catalogues for their information. But all these publications areprimarily concerned with the particular cabinet or file of the firm inwhose interest they are published.

      Variations of card index systems were published in booklet form by filing cabinet manufacturers as a means of selling not only their cabinets, but their systems for using them was common in the early 1900s. Examples of magazine advertisements in System Magazine back this up. It is also specifically highlighted in a review of J. Kaiser's book "The Card System at the Office" from Ironmonger (1909-10-03) which appreciates a more fully fleshed out version of a card index system in book form without mention of specific manufacturing firms.

    8. o businesses of varied sizes are set forth and their working illustrated."We note with appreciation the author's use of "flags" as indic.itors.Our experience of these handy and ingenious little devices datesfrom their first introduction in the States, and we can endorse all that"he says in their favour.

      When were bookmark-like "flags" introduced in America? (Certainly prior to 1908, based on this reference.)

    9. Yet it is doubtful whether since theintroduction of the typewriter there has been an invention so beneficialto modern business as the card-index system.
    10. So far as we are aware, this is the first adequatebook on the card system which has been published in this country.In the main, information on the subject has only been procurablefrom the catalogues and booklets (many of them excellent andinforming; issued by the manufacturers of the impedimenta of thesystem,

      anecdotal evidence from Ironmonger (1908) that this is the first card index book and prior versions are only of shorter booklet-like forms.

      (Naturally, I don't trust this in the fullest sense.)

    1. It is prudent to maturewell before improvements are adopted. Improvements rashlyintroduced may give cause for regret when it is too late to turn back.

      Regular note taking practice will be the best indicator of when potential improvements are worthwhile. Though you may see someone else's advice, workflows, or potential improvements, they may be just as likely not to work for you and your particular needs. Adopting changes without thinking them through or even practicing them for a while are more likely to cause harm, regret, or additional work without any value added to the system.

    2. The measure of control is also the measure of responsibility. Respon-sibility without control is a hopeless proposition.
    3. To run a system effectively, we must be prepared 355Servant to uphold it ourselves, we must give the examplein effective work, we must be the first to submitto it although we supply the directing energy to run it. If we thinkourselves above our own system, then it has already ceased to exist.We must bear in mind therefore that any rules we may make, anyinstructions we may give, any supervision we may effect, applyto ourselves equally with others. We may be the masters of thesystem, we are also its servants, but for all that we need not beslaves to it.
    4. It is therefore best to prepare a Daily List

      The description here is almost similar to interdepartmental memos or corporate emails which are sent out now instead. This information flows out, but broadly isn't kept or filed in the same sorts of ways.

    5. A four drawer cabinetis as a rule ample for the purposes of the key cabinet.

      Key cabinets are used to control the information found in other card indexes as well as for private business information which should be restricted within a firm.

    6. Business In former years the account ledger representedLedger

      Business Ledger

      This section looks at index cards for communication to/from clients and appropriate follow up with respect to sales management in a manufacturing firm. It broadly represents some examples of how one would do larger scale project management and follow up with index cards.

    7. Chronological registers or directories may beRegisters used for a variety of purposes in almost everyoffice, not only as future reminders^ but alsoas records of past events.

      Broadly this sounds like an indexed corporate diary of sorts, but his use of future reminders (or ticklers in the footnote) certainly points to the use of index cards in a Memindex-like fashion.

      Keep in mind that he's writing in Britain and the Memindex from 1903 was a US-based product, though similar ideas may have been used at the time across the pond.

    8. Summaries*

      examples of specific workflows within Kaiser's card system

  4. Mar 2024
    1. https://www.ebay.com/itm/276403515343 <br /> archived copy

      In 1984, Memindex was selling monthly planning calendars (pocket notebook size with spiral binding and a case) rather than their older small index card sized formats. Their calendar format looks eerily like what Day-Timer, a division of ACCO Brands, has been selling since at least the early 1990s.

      This goes down to even the "cut here" triangles in the lower right corners of pages to help bookmark the current page.

    1. 163

      Early 20th century mail merge using a card index!

    2. The most important portion of the face of the card is the left uppercorner, and this place should always be reserved for the subjectof the register.
    3. It was said (76) that it isimpossible to devise a system wliich could be applied universally,the card registers give a very clear illustration of tliis.

      This is a restatement that a particular system should be customized to its users.

      There is potential that a system could be applied universally, but it requires a very large amount of data and metadata to suit the needs of a greater number of people and use cases. It also requires a reasonable amount of work in practical use to make it operate as expected.

      The Mundaneum was likely close on paper and Google comes close to this, but still isn't perfect.

      quote via ¶76 and 92

    4. Devising Once a proper system has been devised, it requiresCard Systems

      Devising Card Systems

      Many modern-day note takers and knowledge workers might take solace in the broad advice provided by J. Kaiser in 1908. In describing some of the broad categories of uses of card index filing systems for business use he says that each entity "has its individual character and individual requirements, and its individual character" (ie, everyone is different and has different needs), therefore everyone "must devise [their] system in accordance with [their] own requirements" and should "be the best judge as to what these requirements are." He continues on in the rest of the book to outline a variety of suggestions and methods which one might use or adopt, but he doesn't dictate specific methods and leaves those decisions up to the end user.

      When devising their own systems, one certainly ought to heed this advice when looking at a variety of alternative methods like Forte's P.A.R.A., Milo's LYT, or even in mimicking Luhmann's idiosyncratic Zettelkasten set up. Are these methods best for your particular use cases? Are they simple enough for what you want to do, or are they overly structured and complicated? The key is to be able to classify and file things quickly so that they can be easily accessed in the future, all the rest becomes additional details and overhead to support on an ongoing basis.

      (¶76)

    5. Elaborate library classifications were either inapplicable or much 74too complicated and therefore unmanageable. Their applicationto business was out of the question. Something simple, easy toimderstand and easy to handle was required. This was foundin the numerical arrangement. The numerical classification inspite of its arbitrary character will always have this advantagethat it ensures accuracy with the least trouble, and this is stillmore the case where large quantities are handled. It was quitenatural therefore that this should be preferred for business purposes.As there are many sets of things arranged numerically, it isnecessary to distinguish one set from the other, so as to know towhat set a given number refers. This is done by affixing dis-tinguishing initials to the numbers, each class being assigned somecharacteristic initial of its own.

      In describing classification schemes for card index-based business uses, Julius Kaiser indicated in 1908 that "elaborate library classifications were either inapplicable or much too complicated and therefore unmanageable." This is in part because of the standardization of the Dewey Decimal System, which may have provided efficiencies for library systems, but proved too rigid for the idiosyncrasies of a variety of businesses. Instead he describes an alpha-numeric system in which numbers provide simple means of finding while the initial alphabetic codes assign specific office-related classes (correspondence, press cuttings, catalogs, etc.) to the indexed materials.

    6. But by means of the cards, these materials canbe arranged and re-arranged in almost endless variety, we mayclassify them roughly or minutely, we may arrange them by thealphabet, by numbers, trades or professions, territories, we maylimit ourselves to certain trades or territories only
    7. The card system has undoubtedly come to stayand will more and more replace the book system.

      grin

    8. It must not be forgotten that the directaim of the card system is : maximum of work with minimumof labour (60).
    9. It will be seen from the foregoing that care isrequired in the appKcation of the card system,and that neglect must sooner or later lead to failure. There wasindeed a time when it seemed doubtful whether the card systemwould survive the first attempts. It was even tried and abandonedby some. These early failures were in the main due to the absenceof expert labour and to the higher order of accuracy required ascompared with the book system. The systems were not thenplanned out with that care that is bestowed upon them now. Onesystem would be started and presently there would be a decisionto alter it so as to fall in with riper experience. In the absenceof one system consistently adhered to the files soon got into achaotic condition until at last they had to be abandoned, for infact they had become useless.

      This sort of failure is still seen today with people setting up note taking systems in a variety of digital environments.

    10. It is there-fore to be expected that the initial cost of the card system is nota fair criterion of its cost when in working order.

      Setting up and learning a note taking or card index system has a reasonably large up-front cost, but learning it well and being able to rely on it over long periods of time will eventually reap larger and cheaper long-term outcomes and benefits.

      Unless changing systems creates dramatically larger improvements, the cost of change will surely swamp the benefits making the switch useless. This advice given by Kaiser is still as true today as it was in 1908, we tend not to think about the efficiency as much now as he may have then however and fall trap to shiny object syndrome.

    11. Accuracy This is one of the chief claims of the card system. 63To increase accuracy in fUing, the materials arealways arranged numerically. We thereby approach as nearlyas possible to mathematical exactness. The advantages of thecard system become more and more apparejit as the files increasein bulk, and accuracy must remain a constant factor in aU workconnected with it. It will also bring its reward in the smoothworking of the files and the immediate accessibility of anythingrequired. In accuracy might be included consistency, which isindispensable for effective work (356).

      In modern, digital settings, the work of approapriately indexing content is lost in exchange for other forms of organization (tagging, for example), this means one is less reliant on an index for looking up material and more reliant on concordance search of particular words within an ever-growing corpus of collected knowledge.

      Over time and with scale, simple tagging may become overwhelming as a search method for finding the requisite material, even when one knows it exists.

      As a result a repository may do better in the long run with a small handful of carefully applied rules from the start.

    12. Labour saving therefore means systematic application of expertlabour.

      This quote is broadly recognized in economic settings as true, but few in the knowledge management space place emphasis or focus on designing both simple systems which are easy to master and use on a regular, ongoing basis. This allows the knowledge worker the ability to more quickly (almost blindly) handle their indexing and filing operations so that things are precisely where they need them when required for use.

      Poor design will not only decrease the ease of use, but also discourage the user from both efficiently using and benefiting from their systems.

      Even simple and efficient filing systems require familiarity and expertise for them to effect useful gains to their users, and prove their effectiveness over time. If a user can't get to a basic level of functionality in short time, they're likely to give up on it and never see the ultimate benefits.

    13. The development of the card system and itsmore universal adoption within recent years isundoubtedly due in the mail to the development in modernbusiness and factory organisation ; it may be regarded as anoffspring of manufacture in quantities. (Massenfabrikation, Gross-industrie.) The recognised principle in manufacture in quantities ismaximum of output with minimum of labour. The means to attainthis end is specialisation, which in its turn yields greater precisionand accuracy as it^ result. All this is equally applicable to thecard system, and the last factor, greater precision and accuracy,is one of its most conspicuous claims.

      Julius Kaiser contemporaneously posits that mass manufacture and maximizing efficiency (greater output for minimum input) are the primary drivers of card index system use in the early 20th century. These also improve both precision and accuracy in handling information which allow for better company or factory operation, which would have been rising concerns for businesses and manufacturing operations at the rise of scientific management during the time period.

    14. Card Each drawer should be provided with a catchDrawers

      Given this date, he's potentially either giving advice to consumers about what to buy or manufacturers about how to design and improve their systems.

    15. It requires but a moment's reflection to perceivethat even the vertical files with the correspondence binders arebut an imitation of a set of cards, on a larger scale. The set ofcards can fairly be regarded as the basis of the entire system,hence it is properly called the card system.

      He notes the general equivalency of cards and papers in vertical files.

      One of the primary affordances that individual atomic cards have is the ability to more easily re-arrange and reuse them for various purposes in comparison with larger sheets with greater amounts of data on them.

    16. When the card guidesare also used for classification purposes (144) a specially strongguide should be selected, as their replacing entails a great dealof re-writing.
    17. The quality of the cardshould correspond to the performances required of it. Cardsused for permanent registers or indexes should be of good strongquality, for temporary work a cheaper card can usually be employed.

      Index card quality can be important for cards that are repeatedly used.

      This admonition was more frequently attended to with respect to library card catalogs, but potentially less followed in personal use—Niklas Luhmann's self-cut paper slips which wore ragged over time come quickly to mind here.

    18. All screws used on the face of the drawers should be sunk in.Round headed screws are apt to tear the skin of the fingers.
    19. It is best to have the verticalcabinets and the card cabinets entirely separate.

      I've seen some mixed cabinet in the early 1900s, but apparently by 1908, it was common practice to separate vertical filing cabinets and card cabinets.

    20. The text in this book is numbered by paragraphs and where asubject is treated in more than one place, the numbers in bracketsindicate the additional paragraphs bearing on the subject underdiscussion.

      ¶5

      The book is ostensibly in the form of a card index with numbers laid out in running order to create a book. The index is also done keyed to these paragraph numbers rather than by page as has traditionally been done.

      As a result, one could cut up the book (or two copies to get both sides) and turn it back into a card index with very little work.

    21. Volume 2 will be almost entirelydevoted to the work of indexing in the sense of analysing literatureand will go more fully into the question of classification and themanagement of guide cards. The present volume is confined asfar as practicable to the use of plain cards. Tabulated cards,methods of tabulating and the application of tabulated cards topractical business will be dealt with in volume 3, " The CardSystem at the Factory."

      companion volumes treated the topics of "analysing literature" and the application of tabulated cards to practical business "at the Factory".

      see: Kaiser, J. Systematic Indexing. The Card System Series 2. London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, Ltd., 1911. http://archive.org/details/systematicindexi00kaisuoft.

    22. Office Organisation, of which the work here discussed forms part, 2has been considerably modified within recent years, and Avhatis called the " card system " has now come very much into vogue.

      The nebulous, but colloquial "card system" was a common, but now lost moniker for the use of a card index in business settings in the early 1900s.

    1. https://pipdecks.com/

      Also targeting business executives (via YouTube) as a storytelling deck: https://pipdecks.com/pages/storyteller-tactics-card-deck

      Described as "expert knowledge in your back pocket", and sold as a "toolkit" with "practical step-by-step recipes", and "templates."

      They offer 7 decks of tactics for Brand, Team, Storytelling, Innovation, Productivity, Team, Workshop, Strategy.

    1. Samuel Hartlib was well aware of this improvement. While extolling the clever invention of Harrison, Hartlib noted that combinations and links con-stituted the ‘argumentative part’ of the card index.60

      Hartlib Papers 30/4/47A, Ephemerides 1640, Part 2.

      In extolling the Ark of Studies created by Thomas Harrison, Samuel Hartlib indicated that the combinations of information and the potential links between them created the "argumentative part" of the system. In some sense this seems to be analogous to the the processing power of an information system if not specifically creating its consciousness.

    1. 'картотек' (card index), to find the relevant section (it's section 51. The fascination with index cards, p.68). This is pretty much the only part of the booklet that discusses index cards, though.

      card index in Russian is 'картотек'

    1. Paul Otlet, another great information visionary, to create a worldwide database for allsubjects.

      Otlet's effort was more than a "database for all subjects", wasn't it? This seems a bit simplistic.

    1. Read [[Martha S. Jones]] in Sleuthing the Card Catalog

    2. I fingered my way through where I thought I’d find entries: African American, Afro-American, Black. Nothing there. I had to then brainstorm like it was 1999, or was it 1989, 1979, or even earlier, to discover the right term. As far back as 1984, the Library of Congress, whose subject headings most research libraries in the United States utilize, admitted that it was “frustrating” to search for Black people in its catalog because two terms were simultaneously in use: “Afro-Americans” and “Blacks.”1 Neither term made it into the old Peabody Library catalog, so perhaps it and the terminology it reflected dated from an even earlier time.

      Research on keywords and their shifting meanings over time can make things difficult for the novice researcher. This example from Martha S. Jones certainly highlights this perspective even in under a century of semantic shift.

    1. https://www.ebay.com/itm/374936561744

      Previously listed (late Summer 2023). Offered for bidding at $7,200 for a Jens Risom Library Card catalog on/around 2023-09-16. Local pickup from Pageland, SC. Ex-library from Davidson College Library in North Carolina tag number 01359.

      Section of 6x5 and another of 6x7 for a total of 72 drawers with a middle section which has two pull out writing drawers.

      Cost per drawer at opening bid: $100.00

      2023-09-25: Relisted at https://www.ebay.com/itm/374948492633

      2024-02-29 Relisted at https://www.ebay.com/itm/375282966486

  5. Feb 2024
    1. Automatically fill in your information in Safari on iPhoneIn the Safari app , use AutoFill to automatically fill in credit card information, contact information, and user names and passwords.
    1. https://www.ebay.com/itm/166584466393

      2024-02-06: 15 drawer (5x3) card catalog offered for starting bid of $200. 3 piece sectional with top, drawers and simple table base with spindle legs. Appears to be in maple with polished steel fittings.

      Manufacturer: none listed<br /> Location: Local pick up from Niagara Falls, NY

      Condition: the finish on this is shot and is either cracked, peeling, or generally non-existent on the outside. Missing two rods. Finish on the wood inside appears solid.

      Cost per drawer: - opening bid of $200: $13.33

      This was later relisted at https://www.ebay.com/itm/166595950156 and ultimately sold for $255.00.

      Cost per drawer: $17.00

    1. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/945071177181845/

      2024-02-01 Listed Shaw-Walker four drawer side table for $95 and it sold within a day for local pick up.

      Cost per drawer: $23.75

      I inquired about this, but missed out on it by just a few hours. I totally want a pair of these as end tables for a couch or a cozy club/reading chair.

    1. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/694743405502203/

      Seller description: 1902 Shaw Walker Card Catalog and File Cabinet 3 piece stackable $765 Listed 19 weeks ago in San Bernardino, CA Details

      Condition
      Used - Good
      Color
      Brown
      Material
      Wood
      

      Super nice old antique card catalog Stackable Oak wood Very few marks for its age 1902 original tags inside it Simply elegant piece No missing pieces no scratches 76 t 16 w 19 d

      Jeanie Lowry listing from October 2023 and sold in late 2023 potentially for $765 or less.

      Sectional Shaw-Walker modular card catalog and filing cabinet. 3 sections of 2x3 drawers for 3x5" cards and one section of 2x1 along with a two 8.5x11" filing drawers and a writing desk pullout section.

      22 total drawers but 20 for index cards

      Cost per drawer: $34.77 (sold)

    1. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/1020494389229110/

      Solid Gaylord Bros. 60 drawer card catalog for pick up in San Bernardino, CA by Jeanie Lowry on Facebook. Reasonable shape despite some dings, especially to the wood facia at the bottom. One metal drawer pull shorn off, but looks like it had all it's rods as well as three writing drawers in the middle.

      2023-01 Listed for ??<br /> Sold sometime in early 2024 presumably for $525

      Seller description: Beautiful Vintage 1950’s Bro Dart Card Catalog Vintage 60 Drawer Card Catalog One drawer handle has the hook missing 3 of the slide in bars missing Some wear on the bottom panel Drawers are strong with brass handles and screws 60 inches tall 40 1/2 wide 17 1/2 deep Drawers are 5 1/2 inches wide Very heavy Great piece would look so great in a retail setting

      Cost per drawer: $8.75

    1. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/406045722112862/

      2024-02-01 Originally listed for 1,100 or so and slowly decreased to $990 on 2024-02-17 at which point it was listed as "not in stock", so unsure if actually sold.

      Gaylord Bros. 25 drawer modular card catalog in 4 sections including top and table/legs and two drawer sections of 5x2 and 5x3. in reasonable but somewhat rough condition. for pick up in San Bernardino, CA from Jeanie Lowry

      Offered as part of a Facebook garage sale which included a similar 30 drawer catalog with pull out writing desks and a handful of metal card filing cabinets meant for punch cards.

      1960’s 25 Drawer Card Catalog Hard to find item In great shape 40 1/2 T, 33 W, 17 D

    1. Read [[Martha S. Jones]] in A New Face for an Old Library Catalog

      Discussion on harmful content in library card catalogs and finding aids.

      The methods used to describe archive material can not only be harmful to those using them, but they also provide a useful historical record of what cataloguers may have been thinking contemporaneously as they classified and organized materials.

      This is another potentially useful set of information to have while reading into historical topics from library card catalogs compared to modern-day digital methods.

      Is anyone using version control on their catalogs?

    1. but they left their own belovedmanuscript unclassied and undescribed, and thus it never attainedthe status of a holding, which it so obviously deserved, and wasinstead tacitly understood to be merely a “nding aid,” a piece offurniture, wholly vulnerable to passing predators, subject tojanitorial, rather than curatorial, jurisdiction—even though thiscatalog was, in truth, the one holding that people who entered thebuilding would be likely to have in common, to know how to usefrom childhood, even to love. A new administrator came by onemorning and noticed that there was some old furniture taking upspace that could be devoted to bound volumes of Technicalities, TheElectronic Library, and the Journal of Library Automation. The cardcatalog, for want of having been cataloged itself, was thrown into adumpster.
    2. The authors made one serious mistake, however. Although theyhad taken great pains to be sure that within their massive workevery book and manuscript stored in their building was representedby a three-by-ve page, and often by several pages, describing it,they had forgotten to devote any page, anywhere, to the very book

      that they had themselves been writing all those years.

      Baker describes the library card catalog as a massive book made up of 3 x 5 inch pages describing all the other books. Sadly he laments, they never bothered to catalog this meta-book itself.

    3. Together, over the years, they achieved what one of their earlymasters, Charles Ammi Cutter, called a “syndetic” structure—that is,a system of referential links—of remarkable coherency andresolution.

      reference for this?


      definition: syndetic structure is one of coherency and resolution made up by referential links.

      Why is no one using this word in the zettelkasten space?


      The adjective "syndetic" means "serving to connect" or "to be connected by a conjunction". (A conjunction being a word used to connect words, phrases and clauses, for example: and, but, if). The antonym is "asyndetic" (connections made without conjoins)

    4. Would it bestretching things too much, you suddenly wonder, to call yourRolodex a form of autobiography—a manuscript that you have beenwriting these fteen years, tinkering with, revising?
    5. SUNY Brockport’s Drake Memorial Library greets its userswith a typographically generated image of a card catalog:Your automated catalog, by DYNIX.Copyright (c) 1992 by DYNIX, Incorporated.

      A library card catalog drawn using ASCII art. :)

    6. Thus, the New York Public Library has CATNYP.There is BEARCAT (Kutztown University) and ALLECAT (Allegheny) andBOBCAT (NYU’s Bobst Library) and CATS (Cambridge). There is VIRGO(the University of Virginia), FRANCIS (Williams College), LUCY(Skidmore), CLIO (Columbia), CHESTER (the University of Rochester),SHERLOCK (Bualo State College), ARLO (the University of Colorado atColorado Springs), FRANKLIN (the University of Pennsylvania), andHarvard’s appropriately Eustace Tilleyish HOLLIS. There is BISON(SUNY Bualo), OASIS (the University of Iowa), ORION (UCLA),SOCRATES (Stanford), ILIAD (Butler), EUCLIDPLUS (Case Western), LUMINA(the University of Minnesota), and THE CONNELLY EXPLORER (La Salle).MELVYL (the University of California system) is named after MelvilDewey; the misspelling was reportedly intentional, meant toemphasize the dierence between Dewey’s cataloging universe andour own.

      List of names for computerized library card catalogs at various libraries.

    7. , one of the reasons that the New York Public Library had toclose its public catalog was that the public was destroying it. TheHetty Green cards disappeared. Someone calling himself Cosmoswas periodically making o with all the cards for Mein Kampf. Cardsfor two Dante manuscripts were stolen: not the manuscripts, thecards for the manuscripts.
    8. book at a public phone rather than bothering to copy down anaddress and a phone number, library visitors—the heedless, thecrazy—have, especially since the late eighties, been increasinglycapable of tearing out the card referring to a book they want.

      The huge frozen card catalog of the Library of Congress currently suers from alarming levels of public trauma: like the movie trope in which the private eye tears a page from a phone

    9. Radical students destroyed roughly ahundred thousand cards from the catalog at the University of Illinoisin the sixties. Berkeley’s library sta was told to keep watch overthe university’s card catalogs during the antiwar turmoil there.Someone reportedly poured ink on the Henry Cabot Lodge cards atStanford
    10. They donot grow mold, as the card catalog of the Engineering Library of theUniversity of Toronto once did, following water damage.
    11. “Atthe end of this project,” Dale Flecker told me, “there won’t be cardcatalogs left in the university.” I asked him if there were any cardcatalogs, anywhere in the world, that he thought worthy ofpreservation. “In general, they’re being discarded,” he said. “I’m notsure I know of anybody who’s decided to preserve them as physicalobjects.” Maureen Finn said much the same thing to me: “Theinstitutions still want the cards back, and then I think they’re storingthem. But most library managers that I talk to will say, ‘We arestoring them because it makes the sta feel good, and we will begetting rid of them.’ ”

      Interesting psychology being played out here....

    12. And some undetermined but large fraction of thetotality is being sent to an artist named Thomas Johnston, atWestern Washington University.

      Card catalog cards being repurposed for art.

    13. OCLC owns the largestdatabase of bibliographic information in the world, and it oers aservice called RETROCON, contracting with libraries to transfer oldcatalog cards to “machine-readable form,” at anywhere from ftycents to six dollars per card.
    14. An image of the front of every card for Widener thus now exists onmicroche, available to users in a room o the lobby. (Anyinformation on the backs of the cards—and many notes do carryover—was not photographed
    15. theMaryland Health Sciences Library published a commemorativechapbook called 101 Uses for a Dead Catalog Card.
    16. At Cosumnes River College, in California, the card catalog wasceremonially put out of its misery by an ocial who pointed a gunat it and “shot” it. D

      Wow!

    17. The cards datingfrom 1911 to 1975 at the New York State Library in Albany (whereMelvil Dewey was librarian from 1889 to 1906) were thrown awaylast month as a consequence of a historical-preservation projectinvolving the building in which they were stored.

      Sad that a "historical-preservation project" resulted in the loss of such an interesting historical artifact.

    18. The New York Public Library, ahead of the game, renovated theentire ten-million-card catalog of its Research Libraries between1977 and 1980, microlmed it, and threw it out.
    19. universities and public libraries have completed the“retrospective conversions” of their catalogs to computer databases(frequently with the help of federal Title II-C money, as part of the“Strengthening Research Library Resources” program),
    20. cards printed by theLibrary of Congress, Baker & Taylor, and OCLC;

      In the 21st century, many library card catalog cards were commercially printed by OCLC, Baker & Taylor, and the Library of Congress

    21. Chancellor Edward N. Brandt, Jr., wearing ared T-shirt that said “The Great Discard,” chose a drawer of thecatalog and pulled it from the cabinet. With the help of a beamingCyril Feng, who was then the director of the library, he drew theretaining rod from the chosen drawer and let its several hundredcards ceremonially spill into a trash can decorated with coloredpaper.

      The intellectual historian in me: 😱

    1. https://news.virginia.edu/content/old-card-catalog-collaborative-effort-will-preserve-its-history The Old Card Catalog: Collaborative Effort Will Preserve Its History<br /> December 9, 2019 By Anne E. Bromley, anneb@virginia.edu <br /> Photos By Sanjay Suchak, sanjay@virginia.edu

    2. Curtis mentioned one example of information that he found: “One of the first drawers of the author-title catalog I looked through held a card for Benjamin Smith Barton’s ‘Elements of Botany’ [the 1804 edition]. The card indicated that UVA’s copy of this book was signed by Joseph C. Cabell, who was instrumental in the founding of the University.”Curtis checked to see if the Virgo entry included this detail, but he found no record of the book at all. “I thought perhaps that was because the book had been lost, and the Virgo entry deleted, but just in case, I emailed David Whitesell [curator in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library] and asked him if this signed copy of Barton’s ‘Elements of Botany’ was on the shelves over there. Indeed it was.

      Digitization efforts in card collections may result in the loss or damage of cards or loss of the materials which the original cards represented in the case of library card catalogs.

    3. The information neatly typed on the cards – which library workers sometimes supplemented with handwritten notes on front and back – includes details that in many cases are not typically part of the electronic catalog system, Virgo, that the University Library switched to in 1989. At the time, the catalog was transferred by scanning that captured only the front of the cards.

      Libraries may have handwritten notes on the back of library card catalog cards in the 20th century, a practice which caused data loss in the case of the Alderman Library which only scanned the front of their cards in 1989 when they made the switch from physical cards to a digital catalog.

    4. Created over a 50-year span from 1939 to 1989, that catalog grew to about 4 million cards in 65 cabinets with 4,000 drawers.

      This is roughly 65 cabinets of 60 drawers each.

      4 million cards over 50 years is approximately 220 cards per day. This isn't directly analogous to my general statistics on number of notes per day for individual people's excerpting practice, but it does give an interesting benchmark for a larger institution and their acquisitions over 50 years. (Be sure to divide by 3 for duplication over author/title/subject overlap, which would be closer to 73 per day)

      Shifted from analog cards to digital version in 1989.

    1. The smallest collection of card catalogs is near the librarian’s information desk in the Social Science/Philosophy/Religion department on lower level three. It is rarely used and usually only by librarians. It contains hundreds of cards that reflect some of the most commonly asked questions of the department librarians. Most of the departments on the lower levels have similar small collections. Card catalog behind the reference desk on lower level three, photo credit: Tina Lernø

    2. The surname Index for the library’s genealogy includes 315 drawers of about 750 cards each for a total of more than 236,250 cards patrons can use when they visit the History/Map/Travel section, photo credit: Diana Rosen

    1. There was a high number of librarians among the Americans, such asCharles Ammi Cutter of Harvard and the Boston Athenæum (who producedAmerica’s first public library card catalogue).
    2. Francis March also helped with the etymologies inWilliam Dwight Whitney’s Century Dictionary (1889–91) and IsaacFunk’s Standard Dictionary of the English Language (first volume publishedin 1893).
    3. during theyears that Leslie Stephen contributed to the OED, he started his owncrowdsourced project, the Dictionary of National Biography (DNB). Just asMurray’s Dictionary traced the lives of thousands of words, Stephen’sdictionary traced the lives of thousands of people who made a notable impacton British history. Stephen invited 653 people to write 29,120 articles. Sixty-three volumes comprising 29,108 pages were published, the first volume in1885 and the last in 1900. The DNB is still going today, under the aegis ofOxford University Press, and it now covers the lives of 55,000 people.

      Presumably this dictionary also used a card index for collection? (check...)

    4. Readers were asked to choose words they considered ‘rare’ and the choice ofthese words was random – they were not guided by Murray on what wasneeded. This resulted in a dearth of quotations for common words whichultimately had to be found by Murray and his assistants. In the first part of theDictionary alone, ‘nearly the whole quotations for about, after, all, also, and,in Part I, and for any, as, in Part II, have had to be found by myself and myassistants’, he explained to the Philological Society. If he had his time again,he said that he would have directed his Readers differently, with theinstructions, ‘Take out quotations for all words that do not strike you as rare,peculiar, or peculiarly used.’
    5. By the time the OED project commenced, Europe already had majordictionaries under way or completed in German, French, Italian, Russian, andDutch, all of which were taking advantage of the new methodologies ofContinental philology. In Germany, the Brothers Grimm had begun theDeutsches Wörterbuch in 1838. In France, Émile Littré had begun theDictionnaire de la langue française in 1841 (a dictionary of post-1600French). In the Netherlands, Matthias de Vries had begun Woordenboek derNederlandsche Taal in 1852 (a dictionary of post-medieval Dutch).

      Oxford English Dictionary (1857 - )

    6. There was a dramatic wall of vastnumbers of slips, or ‘zettel’, hanging from long nails.

      The Grimmwelt Museum in Kassel, Germany is the home of some of the work of Grimm Brothers work on the Deutsches Wörterbuch which features a large wall of zettel or slips hanging from long nails.

      The slips hanging on nails sounds similar to Thomas Harrison's 1740's wooden cabinet of hanging slips used for excerpts and isn't far off from the organizational structure used by the subsequent Oxford English Dictionary's pigeonhole system of organization for their slip collection.

      see: https://hypothes.is/a/kVW3glq0EeyihQ834uN_Ig

    7. Ogilvie, Sarah. The Dictionary People: The Unsung Heroes Who Created the Oxford English Dictionary. 1st ed. New York: Knopf, 2023. https://amzn.to/3Un0sv9.

      Read from 2023-12-04 to 2024-02-01

      Annotation URL: urn:x-pdf:c95483c701c7fc677e89f2c44f98a30b

    1. sample catalog card included in a Gaylord Brothers supply catalog.

      Gaylord Bros. sold several types of card catalog cards including:

      • No. 301 medium weight
      • No. 306 with red rules (classical three lines)
      • No. 307 with blue rules
      • No. 311 pain card

      all were predrilled with holes

      via https://www.libraryhistorybuff.org/catalog-cards.htm

    1. https://pages.oup.com/ol/cus/1646173949115570121/submit-words-and-evidence-to-the-oed

      The modern day digital version of an OED contribution slip includes database fields for the following:

      • Submission type (new word or sense of a word; information about origin/etymology; other)
      • the word or phrase itself
      • the part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, other)
      • pronunciation (recording, IPA, rhyming words, etc.)
      • the definition or sense number as defined in the OED
      • quotation evidence with full text, and bibliographical references/links)
      • additional notes

      Only the first two fields are mandatory.

    1. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/1511212389452724/

      60 drawer wooden card catalog in a very long 12x5 configuration offered for sale at $800 on Facebook marketplace in September 2023. Sold in the fall for unknown price, though likely close to 800.

      Cost per drawer: $13.33

    1. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/7016702761714807/

      2023-09 36 drawer wooden card catalog (no manufacturer; looks custom) offered for $850 and sold sometime in the fall 2023. Rough, but rustic shape. Possibly a modular unit of two 6x3 sections with a custom top attached.

      Cost per drawer: $23.60

  6. Jan 2024
    1. https://www.ebay.com/itm/325982715454

      35 drawer modular card catalog in light mid century modern design. Table with stick legs a 5x6 section including two pull out writing drawers, a 5x1 section and a top. Likely maple, in great shape. All wood and metal, includes all rods.

      Listed in 2024-01-29 for $3995.00 with freight shipping extra from South Bend, IN

      Labeled as a Centura 400 (model?)

      Cost per drawer: $114.00

      This is the first time I've seen a catalog from Sjöström on the market though on searching there are a handful floating around.

    1. Chris, I read it some 40 years ago when as a school boy I began with my Zettelkasten journey. It is about the technique as well as the intellectuell framework behind it and was surely pointed to business aspects as well as running the civil service but also outspoken to the worker of the mind, the scientist and philosopher. Filing and indexing is crucial to all of these varied aspects of cultural life. But don't expect hitherto unknown magical practices to be revealed. It was commune practice then and you could find handbooks on indexing and filing in organisations also in America and England at that time. The new found way of personal knowlegde management just doesn't know about its predecessors with pen, ink, typewriter and other unbeliefable tricks.
    1. one of King’s note cards on the Old Testament’s Book of Amos which includes the linesBut let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. These lines would feature in many of King’s speeches—including his famous “I Have a Dream Speech,” where King said: …we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

      Some of King's note cards later figured in his speeches including his "I Have a Dream" speech.

    1. each sub-portion has its own topology. The index is decentralized in nature, while the bibliographical section/notes are all somewhat centralized in form.

      I imagine this diversity of structure is what made Luhmann's slipbox so potent. In an ecosystem, neither an arboreal root system nor a mycorrhizal network are enough to stage nutrient flow; they must intertwine with each other.—oxytonic on 2024-01-08

      Luhmann's system wasn't very unique (really only in his filing system) compared with the thousands of others in use at the time or for centuries prior. The more interesting space of intertwining is between the ideas in the box and those held in memory and worked on in coordination with the brain. Too many get wrapped up in his physically visible box and forget the work done by the by the "invisible" brain.

    1. 827Posted byu/Loose_Buy62922 years agoArchivedComments are lockedNeed to dump the Flylady .t3_qgy51n._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #edeeef; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #6f7071; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #6f7071; } Rant / VentI have always used the Flylady's system, until seeing her video on youtube last night, 'It's Time'. She went full-on Chriatian Nationalist Q whacko conspiracy theorist. I was SHOCKED. Praising Jim Caviesel and comparing him to Jesus, after watching his recent rant that was laced with violence and conspiracy junk. He is crazy, and she was crying over how wonderful he is. Deifying him in an uncomfortable way. It was all terrifying and overwhelming.Is there someone else who has a similar system? I don't want to support her business anymore.

      Wowzers!

    1. X17-Mind-Papers - die Wiederentdeckung der Karteikarte<br /> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxZMia35usc

      Mind Papers has a variety of small leather covers (folders) with binder clips for storing one's note cards. They range from smaller than A7 up to A5 sizes.

      They're broadly reminiscent of smaller versions of the Everbook, though I suspect these came first given the 2014 post date.

    1. https://betterhumans.pub/i-built-my-own-personal-productivity-system-around-a-3-x-5-index-card-147d7a8d83de

      Melange of GTD, card index, and gamification....


      Update 2024-01-04: I knew I had heard/seen this system before, but not delved into it deeply. I hadn't seen anyone either using it or refer to it by name in the wild until yesterday. All the prior mentions were people sharing the URLs as a thing rather than as something they used.

    1. FireKing File Cabinet, 1-Hour Fire Protection, 6-Drawer, Small Document Size, 31" Deep<br /> https://www.filing.com/FireKing-Card-Check-Note-Cabinet-6-Drawer-p/6-2552-c.htm

      A modern index card catalog filing solution with locks and fireproofing offered by FireKing for $6,218.00 with shipment in 2-4 weeks. 6 Drawers with three sections each. Weighs 860 lbs.

      at 0.0072" per average card, with filing space of 25 15/16" per section with 18 sections, this should hold 64,843 index cards.

  7. Dec 2023
    1. Avery Templates for 4 x 6" products:

      • Avery 8386 postcards 2 per sheet (template compatibility 5889)
      • Avery 5292 Shipping Labels 1 per Sheet White (template compatibility 5454, 5614)
      • Avery 5454 Print or Write Multi-Use Labels 6" x 4" 1 per Sheet White (template compatibility 5292, 5614)
      • Avery 5389 Postcards 4" x 6" 2 per Sheet White (template compatibility 15389)
    1. White highlights the ability to easily shuffle and reshuffle cards in a variety of orders (alphabetical, by source type) and this is one of the benefits of using note cards. (p51)

    1. There will be errors in MESON – those I have copied from books, magazines and the card collections I have access to, those I have copied from the other free online databases and those I have perpetrated myself. If you find an error, do contact me about it, quoting the problem ids (PIDs).

      MESON is comprised in part of card index collections of chess problems and puzzles.

    2. http://www.bstephen.me.uk/meson/meson.pl?opt=top MESON Chess Problem Database

      Compiled using a variety of sources including card indexes.

      found via

      As for the Pirnie collection, not counted it, but I am slowly going through it for my online #ChessProblem database: https://t.co/eTDrPnX09b . Also going through several boxes of the White-Hume Collection which I have.

      — Brian Stephenson (@bstephen2) August 5, 2020
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