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Reference Question of the Week – 3/22/15

   March 28th, 2015

Card catalog: London - MarriageThere really was nothing to this question, other than I thought it was neat and a creative idea. This came into the general reference email inbox this week:

Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015
To: [email protected]
Subject: Card Catalog

Good Afternoon-

My name is [...] and I am a high school teacher in town. My fiancé, [...], is a life long resident of Chelmsford and currently teaches at the high school as well. We are getting married this fall and are hoping to include a theme of vintage school, as it was education that brought us together. We want to incorporate as much school and hometown as we can into our centerpieces and we're hoping Chelmsford Library may be able to help us. We were wondering if you had any wooden card catalog container you were willing to part with. We could clearly make a donation or pay for them. If you could let us know we would be extremely grateful.

Unfortunately, all I could really do was write her back saying that no, we don't have those anymore.

And honestly I think that if we did, we certainly wouldn't sell it and I'm not even sure we'd loan it out for a use like this. Maybe, depending on the size, but those are such a hot commodity now that they are a lot more valuable than people think.

But it did get me wondering about other sources for wedding "props" that would be either educational or of local interest. I presume they've already checked around the local schools, for desks or tables and such things. Any other group that I work with regularly - the historical society, local museums, even Town Hall - probably wouldn't lend their pieces to be used at a wedding. Beyond that, it's either local consignment shops or getting lucky knowing someone who has something.

Which is kind of too bad - a card catalog would make any wedding more interesting.

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5 Responses to “Reference Question of the Week – 3/22/15”

  1. The Librarian With No Name Says:

    The only thing I can think of that we still have on hand is one of those old due date stamps with the dials on the side. You could make a guest book whose pages looked like oversized due slips and when the guests signed it, they could use the stamp to add the (estimated) date they first met the bride or groom. Everybody loves rubber stamps.

    Maybe you could include a “Damage Noted” stamp for the inappropriately drunk ex who scrawls passive-aggressive notes in the guest book.

  2. Tori Says:

    I found mine on Craigslist for $350.

  3. Brian Herzog Says:

    @The Librarian: my problem with ideas like this is that once I get thinking about it, I can’t stop with the tie-ins. I like the stamped cards though – that’s a great idea. I better never get married, or else who knows what kind of themed extravaganza it might turn into.

    @Tori: that seems like a great deal – I see them in the thousands, when you can even find them. I’d love one, but I really have no idea what I’d put in drawers that size.

  4. JoshR Says:

    When our card catalogs went away, my boss at the time took home a huge pile of blank, unused cards we had. She then used a typewriter to make up “fake” catalog cards that looked just like the real ones. (minus the wear, although she did try to make them look a bit ragged.)Then she used the mockups as the basis for greeting cards. So for example I got a birthday card from her, the front of which was a card catalog entry for a sci fi book she knew I liked.

    It’d be a pain for a big wedding, but for a smaller affair I could see sending out wedding invitations like that, using a catalog card from a wedding book or something.

  5. Lydia Says:

    A friend of mine is using old card catalogue cards as place namecards for her wedding reception (they use them as scrap paper at the reference desk at her library and people are always making off with chunks of them). Rather than a physical object, maybe the patron could use photos from any archives in town? Vintage photos of local teachers, schools, etc.?