Surfing around with respect to library card catalogs, I ran across John Blyberg‘s Library Card Generator this afternoon. Anyone who’s playing at the intersection of analog and digital zettelkasten is sure to love the possibilities here.

Yellowed library card catalog card with top red horizontal line and two vertical lines that split the card into three colums. Printed on the card are a red 9/8j on the left with the contents of Niklas Luhmann's jokerzettel card typed out. There are a few scribbles handwritten onto the card as well.

Incidentally, if you’re still into the old-school library card catalog cards, Demco still sells the red ruled cards!

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Chris Aldrich

I'm a biomedical and electrical engineer with interests in information theory, complexity, evolution, genetics, signal processing, IndieWeb, theoretical mathematics, and big history. I'm also a talent manager-producer-publisher in the entertainment industry with expertise in representation, distribution, finance, production, content delivery, and new media.

6 thoughts on “”

  1. Phil says:

    @chrisaldrich have you read Nicholson Baker’s essay “Discards”? It’s behind the paywall at the New Yorker, also in a collection The Size of Thought.

    He talks about the richness of information on analog cards that’s hard to duplicate in digital. Like the “grime layer” where finger grease tells which cards get more traffic than others.

    1. Chris Aldrich says:

      Thanks for the reminder Phil. I think I first came across that piece of Baker’s while researching the size of notes/ideas/thoughts in August 2021 and looked at it right after some of Beatrice Webb’s work. Luhmann’s slips show some of this sort of wear as well, though his show it to extreme as he used thinner paper than the standard index card so some of his slips have incredibly worn/ripped/torn tops more than any grime. Many of my own books show that grime layer on the fore-edge in sections which I’ve read and re-read.

      One of my favorite examples of this sort of wear through use occurs in early manuscripts (usually only religious ones) where readers literally kissed off portions of illuminations when venerating the images in their books. Later illuminators included osculation targets to help prevent these problems. (Cross reference:

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