I’m afraid this is only fun for those who know Russian, but if you go here you will see a random card from the catalog of the Russian National Library in St Petersburg. I got:
Elenskii, Nikolai Oktavievich, 1868-1939.
Aèroplan “Molniya.” Komediya v 4-kh d. N.O. Elenskago. [SPb] tip. t-
va “Ekateringofskoye pechatnoye delo”, [1910].
I love the fact that it’s in the old orthography, that it’s a play about an airplane from 1910, and that the name Oktavievich has been corrected (some sharp-eyed person like me changed a soft sign to an i). Somebody should do this for an American library… except, of course, we don’t use library cards any more. (Thanks to frequent commenter Tatyana for calling my attention to the Avva entry from which the card game comes.)
Update (December 2012). Alas, the main link is dead.


  1. Oh, card catalogs cards are beautiful. I once saw–was it at Pierogi gallery in Brooklyn?–a sort of graphic novel comprised of scans of card catalog cards filed under L for Love.
    And above my desk I have a lovely gift: six framed decorated library cards. A California library was deaccessioning its card catalog and invited people to decorate the cards as part of a benefit. There’s Microscope and Miscroscopy covered with cell diagrams, Numbers with numbers, Korea: Its People and Culture with characters–you get the idea.
    Also art, but off-topic: I just finished a site for my girlfriend Erica’s work–http://www.ericaharris.org.

  2. This is so cool (even though my Russian is limited…). Thank you from the bottom of my cataloging heart!

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