Card catalogs like this one have become a hot decorating trend, now that most libraries have abandoned paper indexes in favor of computers. Lately, I've seen old card catalogs re purposed into everything from liquor cabinets to jewelry boxes. Because our building houses the Edina History Museum as well as a research library, many visitors mistake ours for an historic artifact part of some exhibit.
Au contraire. Ours is still frequently used by researchers. The drawers house the index to The Crier, the monthly newspaper for the Country Club District, published between 1930 and 1941.
Early on in our organization's history, an Edina Historical Society archivist and volunteers combed through each issue and painstakingly typed an index card for every article, topic and person named in the newspaper.
Even if someone was mentioned once, in just one sentence of a Society column, we have a card listing his name, as well as the headline of the story and month, year and page the story appeared.
I wish everything in our collection had such a detailed finding aid.
While it's not part of an official exhibit, the card catalog does prompt visitors to remember Edina's libraries, from librarian Mrs. Vinson at the Morningside Library to the cozy reading nooks at the first Edina Library, housed in pioneer James Bull's converted house. People who grew up before the age of computers remember flipping through the card catalog to find books by their favorite author or find books on a particular topic for a term paper. They even recall the smell of old books and the ink from the "date due" stamper.
One day, I suppose, the Criers will be scanned and easily searched by computer. We won't need our card catalog for research purposes, but we'll no doubt find a spot in some exhibit for an artifact that prompts so many memories.
Search this blog:
Jennifer Adam is the Executive Director of the Edina Historical Society. She welcomes your contributions. Comment on a post or send an email (see below). Traditional mail, of course, can also be sent to:
Thank you, your message has been sent
Support this blog!
Help us bring you Edina history with this web site by becoming a member or donating today. Click on the link to our GiveMN.org site to make a donation with a credit card. The Edina Historical Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that depends on contributions to continue operation.