266 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. "OCLC Prints Last Library Catalog Cards.” OCLC, October 1, 2015. 44280170. OCLC News Releases 2015 - US. https://cdm15003.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p15003coll6/id/386.

    2. OCLC began automated catalog card production in 1971, when the shared cataloging system first went online. Cardproduction increased to its peak in 1985, when OCLC printed 131 million. At peak production, OCLC routinelyshipped 8 tons of cards each week, or some 4,000 packages. Card production steadily decreased since then asmore and more libraries began replacing their printed cards with electronic catalogs. OCLC has printed more than1.9 billion catalog cards since 1971.
    3. OCLC built the world's first online shared cataloging system in 1971
    4. DUBLIN, Ohio, October 1, 2015 —OCLC printed its last library catalog cards today, officially closing the book onwhat was once a familiar resource for generations of information seekers who now use computer catalogs andonline search engines to access library collections around the world.
    1. in 1971, the Ohio College Library Center began printing the text onto the index cards for them.

      Librarians either handwrote or typed up their own library card catalog cards until the Ohio College Library Center (OCLC) began printing cards for libraries as a service.

    1. https://multimediaman.blog/2016/09/30/how-the-index-card-launched-the-information-age/

      A quick overview of the index card and it's role in history from Linnaeus to Dewey to the Mundaneum.

    2. One year ago this month, the final order of library catalog cards was printed by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) in Dublin, Ohio. On October 2, 2015, The Columbus Dispatch wrote, “Shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday, an era ended. About a dozen people gathered in a basement workroom to watch as a machine printed the final sheets of library catalog cards to be made …”
    1. 132 A6HD FCB24 - card index cabinet (2)* 6 x 4” (A6) 159 (6.2”) 434 (17”)

      4x6" Index card cabinet

      Bisley show room in New York (212) 675-3055

    1. Protect it at all costs. As the historian Douglas Brinkley said about Ronald Reagan’s collection of notecards: “If the Reagans’ home in Palisades were burning, this would be one of the things Reagan would immediately drag out of the house. He carried them with him all over like a carpenter brings their tools. These were the tools for his trade.”

      Another example of saving one's commonplace in case of a fire!

      link to: - https://hypothes.is/a/BLL9TvZ9EeuSIrsiWKCB9w - https://hypothes.is/a/zHUghMiaEeuKKvcrc5ux5w

    2. I’ve been keeping my commonplace books in variety of forms for 6 or 7 years. But I’m just getting started.

      In August 2013 Ryan Holiday said that he'd been commonplacing for "6 or 7 years".

    3. Ronald Reagan actually kept quotes on a similar notecard system.

      By at least 2013 Ryan Holiday was aware of Ronald Reagan's note card system from a 2011 USA Today article and related book.

    4. I use 4×6 ruled index cards, which Robert Greene introduced me to. I write the information on the card, and the theme/category on the top right corner. As he figured out, being able to shuffle and move the cards into different groups is crucial to getting the most out of them.

      Ryan Holiday keeps a commonplace book on 4x6 inch ruled index cards with a theme or category written in the top right corner. He learned his system from Robert Greene.

      Of crucial importance to him was the ability to shuffle the cards and move them around.

    1. It's several thousand 4x6 notecards—based on a system taught to by my mentor Robert Greene when I was his research assistant—that have ideas, notes on books I liked, quotes that caught my attention, research for projects or phrases I am kicking around.

      Ryan Holiday learned his index card-based commonplace book system from writer Robert Greene for whom he worked as an assistant.

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    1. Alternate index card holding furniture for display?<br /> https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/wffvs4/alternate_index_card_holding_furniture_for_display/

      Separate from boxes for long term card holding storage, does anyone have any suggestions they like for organizing or temporarily displaying cards?

      I've got a couple card tray rack organizers (originally intended for playing cards, but great for zettels) which I generally like.

      Two playing card holders, one with several cards inserted as an example. The holder allows compact display of cards perpendicular to one's table with the ability to see many at one time while working.

      I've also seen Levenger's note card "bleachers" which are similar, but more expensive. - Note Card Bleachers - Portable Note Card Bleachers - Nantucket Bamboo Compact Bleachers

      Levenger index card bleacher for compactly displaying index cards in an array on a desk so that portions are visible but that they don't take up space.

      Does anyone have anything else they like for compact working/displaying aside from laying cards out on tables/desks?

      Do you have other methods for this sort of organization or layout of ideas visually? Corkboards, magnetic whiteboards/walls, other?

    1. The system of card indexing was propagated by a French Person called Abb’e Jean Rozier (1734-93). The index is prepared by allotting a separate card to each piece of information. The required information are written on the cards. All cards are of uniform size and are arranged in alphabetical, numerical or geographical order.

      https://www.preservearticles.com/business/what-is-card-indexing-and-explain-its-advantages-and-disadvantages/1740

      This source is questionable in it's sourcing and seems to mix several different methods and systems, so we'll need to treat it with a massive grain of salt.

      It does Mention Abb'e Jean Rozier (1734-93) as a historical figure related to propagating a system of card indexing which is a new name to me and thus worth looking into.

      Is Abb'e here a title? (potentially the French translation of the English abbot which is correctly abbé, so this may have had a typo.)

      The dates of life given would indicate that this is not the balloonist/scientist Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Fran%C3%A7ois_Pil%C3%A2tre_de_Rozier

  2. Jul 2022
    1. It wasnot until we had completely re-sorted all our innumerable sheets ofpaper according to subjects, thus bringing together all the facts relatingto each, whatever the trade concerned, or the place or the date—andhad shuffled and reshuffled these sheets according to various tentativehypotheses—that a clear, comprehensive and verifiable theory of theworking and results of Trade Unionism emerged in our minds; tobe embodied, after further researches by way of verification, in ourIndustrial Democracy (1897).

      Beatrice Webb was using her custom note taking system in the lead up to the research that resulted in the publication of Industrial Democracy (1897).

      Is there evidence that she was practicing this note taking/database practice earlier than this?

    2. For a highly elaborated and skilled processof “ making notes ”, besides its obvious use in recording observationswhich would otherwise be forgotten, is actually an instrument of dis¬covery.

      Beatrice Webb sees the primary uses of notes as a memory device and a discovery device.

    3. This process serves a similar purpose in sociology to that of theblow-pipe and the balance in chemistry, or the prism and the electro¬scope in physics. That is to say, it enables the scientific worker to breakup his subject-matter, so as to isolate and examine at his leisure itsvarious component parts, and to recombine them in new and experi¬mental groupings in order to discover which sequences of events have acausal significance

      Beatrice Webb analogized the card index (or note taking using slips of paper) as serving the function of a scientific tool for sociologists the way that chemists use blow pipes and balances or physicists use the prism or electroscope. These tools all help the researcher examine small constituent parts and then situate them in other orderings to provide insight into the subject areas.

    1. Over the course of his intellectual life, from about 1943 until hissudden death in 1980, Barthes built a card index consisting of morethan 12,250 note cards – the full extent of this collection was notknown until access to it was granted to the manuscript researchers ofthe Institut Mémoires de l’édition contemporaine (IMEC) inFrance (Krapp, 2006: 363).3

      Roland Barthes accumulated a card index of more than 12,250 note cards beginning in 1943 which were held after his death in 1980 at the Institut Mémoires de l’édition contemporaine (IMEC) in France.

      Barthes' dates 12 November 1915 – 26 March 1980 age 64

      He started his card index at roughly age 28 and at around the same time which he began producing written work. (Did he have any significant writing work or publications prior to this?)

      His card collection spanned about 37 years and at 12,250 cards means that was producing on average 0.907 cards per day. If we don't include weekends, then he produced 1.27 cards per day on average. Compare this with Ahrens' estimate of 6 cards a day for Niklas Luhmann.


      With this note I'm starting the use of a subject heading (in English) of "card index" as a generic collection of notes which are often kept in one or more boxes. This is to distinguish it from the more modern idea of zettelkasten in the Luhmann framing which also connotes a dense set of links between the cards themselves, though this may not have been the case historically. Card index is also specifically separate from 'index card' which is an individual instance of an item that might be found in a card index. At present, I'm unaware of a specific word in English which defines the broader note taking context or portions thereof relating to index cards in the same way that a zettelkasten implies. This may be the result of the broad use of index cards for so many varying uses in the early 20th century. For these other varying uses I'll try to differentiate them henceforth with the generic 'index card files' which might also be used to describe the containers in which cards might be found.

    1. Famously, Luswig Wittgenstein organized his thoughts this way. Also famously, he never completed his 'big book' - almost all of his books (On Certainty, Philosophical Investigations, Zettel, etc.) were compiled by his students in the years after his death.

      I've not looked directly at Wittgenstein's note collection before, but it could be an interesting historical example.


      Might be worth collecting examples of what has happened to note collections after author's lives. Some obviously have been influential in scholarship, but generally they're subsumed by the broader category of a person's "papers" which are often archived at libraries, museums, and other institutions.

      Examples: - Vincentius Placcius' collection used by his students - Niklas Luhmann's zettelkasten which is being heavily studied by Johannes F.K. Schmidt - Mortimer J. Adler - was his kept? where is it stored?

      Posthumously published note card collections - Ludwig Wittgenstein - Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project - Ronald Reagan's collection at his presidential library, though it is more of an commonplace book collection of quotes which was later published - Roland Barthes' Mourning Diary - Vladimir Nabokov's The Original of Laura - others...


      Just as note collections serve an autobiographical function, perhaps they may also serve as an intellectual autobiographical function? Wittgenstein never managed to complete his 'big book', but in some sense, doesn't his collection of note cards serve this function for those willing to explore it all?


      I'd previously suggested that Scott P. Scheper publish not only his book on note taking, but to actually publish his note cards as a stand-alone zettelkasten example to go with them. What if this sort of publishing practice were more commonplace? The modern day equivalent is more likely a person's blog or their wiki. Not enough people are publicly publishing their notes to see what this practice might look like for future generations.

    1. Beyond the cards mentioned above, you should also capture any hard-to-classify thoughts, questions, and areas for further inquiry on separate cards. Regularly go through these to make sure that you are covering everything and that you don’t forget something.I consider these insurance cards because they won’t get lost in some notebook or scrap of paper, or email to oneself.

      Julius Reizen in reviewing over Umberto Eco's index card system in How to Write a Thesis, defines his own "insurance card" as one which contains "hard-to-classify thoughts, questions, and areas for further inquiry". These he would keep together so that they don't otherwise get lost in the variety of other locations one might keep them

      These might be akin to Ahrens' "fleeting notes" but are ones which may not easily or even immediately be converted in to "permanent notes" for one's zettelkasten. However, given their mission critical importance, they may be some of the most important cards in one's repository.

      link this to - idea of centralizing one's note taking practice to a single location

      Is this idea in Eco's book and Reizen is the one that gives it a name since some of the other categories have names? (examples: bibliographic index cards, reading index cards (aka literature notes), cards for themes, author index cards, quote index cards, idea index cards, connection cards). Were these "officially" named and categorized by Eco?

      May be worthwhile to create a grid of these naming systems and uses amongst some of the broader note taking methods. Where are they similar, where do they differ?


      Multi-search tools that have full access to multiple trusted data stores (ostensibly personal ones across notebooks, hard drives, social media services, etc.) could potentially solve the problem of needing to remember where you noted something.

      Currently, in the social media space especially, this is not a realized service.

  3. Jun 2022
    1. u/sscheper in writing your book, have you thought about the following alternative publishing idea which I'm transcribing from a random though I put on a card this morning?

      I find myself thinking about people publishing books in index card/zettelkasten formats. Perhaps Scott Scheper could do this with his antinet book presented in a traditional linear format, but done in index cards with his numbers, links, etc. as well as his actual cards for his index at the end so that readers could also see the power of the system by holding it in their hands and playing with it?

      It could be done roughly like Edward Powys Mathers' Cain's Jawbone or Henry Korn's Pontoon Manifesto? Perhaps numbered consecutively to make it easier to bring back into that format, but also done with your zk numbering so that people could order it and use it that way too? This way you get the book as well as a meta artifact of what the book is about as an example of how to do such a thing for yourself. Maybe even make a contest for a better ordering for the book than the one you published it in ?

      Link to: - https://hyp.is/6IBzkPfeEeyo9Suq-ZmCKg/www.scientificamerican.com/article/reading-paper-screens/

    1. The slipbox and index cards on which Vladimir Nabokov wrote his novel Lolita.

      Vladimir Nabokov famously wrote most of his works including Lolita using index cards in a slip box. He ultimately died in 1977 leaving an unfinished manuscript in note card form for the novel The Original of Laura. Penguin later published the incomplete novel with in 2012 with the subtitle A Novel in Fragments. Unlike most manuscripts written or typewritten on larger paper, this one came in the form of 138 index cards. Penguin's published version recreated these cards in full-color reproductions including the smudges, scribbles, scrawlings, strikeouts, and annotations in English, French, and Russian. Perforated, one could tear the cards out of the book and reorganize in any way they saw fit or even potentially add their own cards to finish the novel that Nabokov couldn't.

      Index card on which Nabokov collated notes on ages, heights, and measurements for school aged girls as research for his title character Lolita.

      More details at: https://www.openculture.com/2014/02/the-notecards-on-which-vladimir-nabokov-wrote-lolita.html

    1. I also like the simplicity of a box. There’s a purpose here, and it has a lot to dowith efficiency. A writer with a good storage and retrieval system can write faster.He isn’t spending a lot of time looking things up, scouring his papers, and patrollingother rooms at home wondering where he left that perfect quote. It’s in the box.

      A card index can be a massive boon to a writer as a well-indexed one, in particular, will save massive amounts of time which might otherwise be spent searching for quotes or ideas that they know they know, but can't easily recreate.

    2. There are separate boxes for everything I’ve ever done. If you want a glimpseinto how I think and work, you could do worse than to start with my boxes.
  4. danallosso.substack.com danallosso.substack.com
    1. https://danallosso.substack.com/p/note-cards?s=r

      Outline of one of Dan's experiments writing a handbook about reading, thinking, and writing. He's taking a zettelkasten-like approach, but doing it as a stand-alone project with little indexing and crosslinking of ideas or creating card addresses.

      This sounds more akin to the processes of Vladimir Nabokov and Ryan Holiday/Robert Greene.

    1. 1980s: "I always typed a few hours a day on a heavy and noisy IBM typewriter. Before converting to the Apple faith, I wrote down every interesting idea or possibly useful datum on 5 × 8 cards that I kept in card-boxes. But I used them only sparingly to write papers of books, for they were just random collections. Once an unknown American scholar phoned me to announce that he was about to commit suicide because he had failed to craft a general theory of ideas out of thousands of cards that he had filled in the course of a decade. He had been a casualty of dataism, the idea that knowledge of anything is just a collection of bits of knowledge." (pp. 273–274)

      Anecdotal evidence of contemplation of suicide based on over-collection of notes without creating a clear thesis or use for them.

      I'm curious who the colleague was and what or how their note taking system wasn't working for them. Most likely the inability to link ideas to each other, lack of clear examples of others doing the practice to help guide them?

    2. Mario Bunge (1919–2020) was an Argentine-Canadian philosopher and physicist. Here are some excerpts from his book Between Two Worlds: Memoirs of a Philosopher-Scientist (Springer-Verlag, 2016) about his use of card-boxes

      Mario Bunge had a card index note taking practice.

    1. together with his friend Wendell Hertig Taylor, kept a running tally of every mystery book that came along. Their brief descriptions, scribbled on three-by-five-inch index cards, eventually coalesced into “A Catalogue of Crime,” one of the foremost reference works in the mystery/suspense genre.

      Jacques Barzun had a card index for cataloging mystery/suspense books which he maintained on 3x5" cards with his friend Wendell Hertig Taylor.

      Did he keep a card index for his ideas as well?

  5. May 2022
    1. Thus, the sensitive seismographer of avant-garde develop-ments, Walter Benjamin, logically conceived of this scenario in 1928, of communicationwith card indices rather than books: “And even today, as the current scientific methodteaches us, the book is an archaic intermediate between two different card indexsystems. For everything substantial is found in the slip box of the researcher who wroteit and the scholar who studies in it, assimilated into its own card index.” 47
      1. Walter Benjamin, Einbahnstra ß e, in Gesammelte Schriften, vol. 4 (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1928/1981), 98 – 140, at 103.

      Does Walter Benjamin prefigure the idea of card indexes conversing with themselves in a communicative method similar to that of Vannevar Bush's Memex?

      This definitely sounds like the sort of digital garden inter-communication afforded by the Anagora as suggested by @Flancian.

    2. According to this, the arrangement consists of “wooden boxes with drawers that pullout in the front, and cards in octavo format ” (= DIN A5).

      Luhmann's zettelkasten collection of cards was in octavo format, aka DIN A5 (148mm x 210mm or 5.8" x 8.3").

    3. commenting in an interview: “By the way, many people havecome here to see that.”13 The writing tool became an object of desire, especially foryoung academics seeking to add a carefully planned card index to their carefully plannedcareers: “After all, Fred wants to be a professor.” 1

      Luhmann indicates that aspiring academics came to visit to see his card collection in potentially planning their own.

      1. Ralf Klassen, “Bezaubernde Jeannie oder Liebe ist nur ein Zeitvertreib,” in Wir Fernsehkinder. Eine Generation ohne Programm, ed. Walter Wüllenweber (Berlin: Rowohlt Berlin Verlag, 1994), 81 – 97, at 84.
    4. Card indexes can do anything!—Das System, Zeitschrift für Organisation , Book 1, January 1928

      Dig up this reference. English version?

    1. Between 1930 to 1980,Labrousse, Daumard, and Kuznets carried out their research almostexclusively by hand, on file cards.

      Piketty indicates that Ernest Labrousse, Adeline Daumard, and Simon Kuznets carried out their economic and historical research almost exclusively by hand using file cards.

      Are their notes still extant? What did their systems look like? From whom did they learn them?

    1. Card Sorting ابتدا فعالیتی که بیشترین و کمترین زمان رو میگیره هر فرد میذاره روی میز!(با نظر جمع هست این دو تا کارت) فعالیت های رو بین این دوتا میچنند و اتفاقعهایی که یک اندازه میپیرند زیر هم میگیرند

      سپس نظرات رو با هم مقایسه میکنند اگه اخاتلاف نبود که هیچ اگه بود که با هم صحبت میکنند

  6. multidimensional.link multidimensional.link
    1. Love, Its like a playing card A wild card, Your “lucky card”. You throw it into play Hoping it will land you your win. You throw it wrong, Your hand is forced You have to fold- But it hurts.

      I want to know more...a deeper context to these emotions. Why do you think you need to fold? Are you afraid to be vulnerable? To take a chance? What will ease the pain?

  7. Apr 2022
    1. INTERVIEWER: Could you say something of your work habits?Do you write to a preplanned chart? Do you jump from onesection to another, or do you move from the beginning throughto the end?NABOKOV: The pattern of the thing precedes the thing. I fill inthe gaps of the crossword at any spot I happen to choose. Thesebits I write on index cards until the novel is done. My schedule

      is flexible, but I am rather particular about my instruments: lined Bristol cards and well sharpened, not too hard, pencils capped with erasers.

      Nabokov on his system of writing.

    2. Nabokov arises early in the morning and works. He does hiswriting on filing cards, which are gradually copied, expanded, andrearranged until they become his novels.
    3. Mr. Nabokov’s writing method is to compose his stories and novels on index cards,shuffling them as the work progresses since he does not write in consecutive order.Every card is rewritten many times. When the work is completed,the cards in final order, Nabokov dictates from them to his wifewho types it up in triplicate.

      Vladimir Nabokov's general writing method consisted of composing his material on index cards so that he could shuffle them as he worked as he didn't write in consecutive order. He rewrote and edited cards many times and when the work was completed with the cards in their final order, Nabokov dictated them to his wife Vera who would type them up in triplicate.

    1. The day after his mother's death in October 1977, the influential philosopher Roland Barthes began a diary of mourning. Taking notes on index cards as was his habit, he reflected on a new solitude, on the ebb and flow of sadness, and on modern society's dismissal of grief. These 330 cards, published here for the first time, prove a skeleton key to the themes he tackled throughout his work.

      Published on October 12, 2010, Mourning Diary is a collection published for the first time from Roland Barthes' 330 index cards focusing on his mourning following the death of his mother in 1977.

      Was it truly created as a "diary" from the start? Or was it just a portion of his regular note taking collection excerpted and called a diary after-the-fact? There is nothing resembling a "traditional" diary in many portions of the collection, but rather a collection of notes relating to the passing of his mother. Was the moniker "diary" added as a promotional or sales tool?

    1. To read through my life, even as an incomplete picture, fits the permanence I’m envisioning for the site.

      If one thinks of a personal website as a performance, what is really being performed by the author?

      Links and cross links, well done, within a website can provide a garden of forking paths by which a particular reader might explore a blog despite the fact that there is often a chronological time order imposed upon it.

      Link this to the idea of using a zettelkasten as a biography of a writer, but one with thousands of crisscrossing links.

    2. https://intothebook.net/does-chronology-have-meaning-in-a-virtual-space/

      Example of a blog in the wild describing itself as an autobiography.

      This is somewhat related to the idea of a card index as autobiography, though in the piece they talk about time ordered chronology of posts on a blog.

    1. French theorist, philosopher, and writer Roland Barthes (1915 – 1980) kept a fichier boîte or card index file beginning in 1943 until his death. Curator Nathalie Léger has indicated that there are 12,250 slips in Roland Barthes' bequest at the Institut Mémoires de l’édition contemporaine (IMEC).[16][17] Louis-Jean Calvet explains that in writing Michelet, Barthes used his notes on index cards to try out various combinations of cards to both organize them as well as "to find correspondences between them."[18][19] In addition to using his card index for producing his published works, Barthes also used his note taking system for teaching as well. His final course on the topic of the Neutral, which he taught as a seminar at Collège de France, was contained in four bundles consisting of 800 cards which contained everything from notes, summaries, figures, and bibliographic entries.[18] In his autobiographical Roland Barthes par (by) Roland Barthes, Barthes reproduces three of his index cards in facsimile.[20] Published posthumously in 2010, Barthes' Mourning Diary was created from a collection of 330 of his index cards focusing on his mourning following the death of his mother. The book jacket of the book prominently features one of his index cards from the collection.[21] In a well known photo of Barthes in his office taken by Henri Cartier-Bresson in 1963, the author is pictured with his card indexes on the shelf behind him.[22][16]

      French theorist, philosopher, and writer [[Roland Barthes]] (1915 – 1980) kept a ''fichier boîte'' or card index file beginning in 1943 until his death. Curator Nathalie Léger has indicated that there are 12,250 slips in Roland Barthes' bequest at the [[Institute for Contemporary Publishing Archives|Institut Mémoires de l’édition contemporaine (IMEC)]].<ref name="Hollier">{{cite journal |last1=Hollier |first1=Denis |title=Notes (On the Index Card). |journal=October |date=2005 |volume=112 |issue=Spring |pages=35–44 |url=https://www.jstor.org/stable/3397642 |access-date=23 April 2022}}</ref><ref>{{cite book |last1=Krapp |first1=Peter |editor1-last=Chun |editor1-first=W. H. K. |editor2-last=Keenan |editor2-first=T |title=New Media, Old Theory: A History and Theory Reader |date=2006 |publisher=Routledge |location=New York |pages=359-373 |chapter=Hypertext Avant La Lettre}}</ref> [[Louis-Jean Calvet]] explains that in writing ''Michelet'', Barthes used his notes on index cards to try out various combinations of cards to both organize them as well as "to find correspondences between them."<ref name="Rowan">{{cite journal |last1=Wilken |first1=Rowan |title=The card index as creativity machine |journal=Culture Machine |date=2010 |volume=11 |pages=7–30 |url=https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/The-card-index-as-creativity-machine-Wilken/ffeae0931cc269da047d0844a6bef7e1c7424b46 |access-date=23 April 2022}}</ref><ref>{{cite book |last1=Calvet |first1=Louis-Jean |title=Roland Barthes: A Biography |date=1994 |publisher=Indiana University Press |location=Bloomington, IN}}</ref> In addition to using his card index for producing his published works, Barthes also used his note taking system for teaching as well. His final course on the topic of the Neutral, which he taught as a seminar at Collège de France, was contained in four bundles consisting of 800 cards which contained everything from notes, summaries, figures, and bibliographic entries.<ref name="Rowan"></ref> In his autobiographical ''Roland Barthes par (by) Roland Barthes'', Barthes reproduces three of his index cards in facsimile.<ref>{{cite book |last1=Barthes |first1=Roland |title=Roland Barthes |date=1977 |publisher=Macmillan |isbn=978-1-349-03520-5 |page=75}}</ref> Published posthumously in 2010, Barthes' ''Mourning Diary'' was created from a collection of 330 of his index cards focusing on his mourning following the death of his mother. The book jacket of the book prominently features one of his index cards from the collection.<ref>{{cite book |last1=Barthes |first1=Roland |title=Mourning Diary |date=2010 |publisher=Macmillan |url=https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780374533113/mourningdiary}}</ref> In a well known photo of Barthes in his office taken by [[Henri Cartier-Bresson]] in 1963, the author is pictured with his card indexes on the shelf behind him.<ref>{{cite book |last1=Yacavone |first1=Kathrin |title=Interdisciplinary Barthes |date=2020 |publisher=Oxford University Press |isbn=978-0-19-726667-0 |pages=97–117 |url=https://doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197266670.003.0007 |chapter=Picturing Barthes: The Photographic Construction of Authorship}}</ref><ref name="Hollier"></ref>

    1. Embarrassed and almost guilty because sometimes I feel that my mourning is merely a susceptibility to emotion. But all my life haven’t I been just that: moved?

    2. Struck by the abstract nature of absence; yet it’s so painful, lacerating. Which allows me to understand abstraction somewhat better: it is absence and pain, the pain of absence—perhaps therefore love?

    3. —How strange: her voice, which I knew so well, and which is said to be the very texture of memory (“the dear inflection…”), I no longer hear. Like a localized deafness…

    4. —”Never again, never again!” —And yet there’s a contradiction: “never again” isn’t eternal, since you yourself will die one day. “Never again” is the expression of an immortal. (Images courtesy Michel Salzedo.)

    5. https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/barthess-hand

      Interesting use of a card index as a diary.

      Cross reference: Review of Mourning Diaries: Wallowing in Grief Over Maman by Dwight Garner, New York Times, Oct. 14, 2010 https://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/15/books/15book.html

    6. I was fortunate enough to see—and now share with you—a handful of these diaries from 1977 in their original, hand-written form. (A collection of more than three hundred entries, entitled “Mourning Diary,” will be published by Hill and Wang next month.)

      Hill and Wang published Mourning Diary by Roland Barthes on October 12, 2010. It is a collection of 330 entries which he wrote following the death of his mother Henriette in 1977.

      Kristina Budelis indicates that she saw them in person and reproduced four of them as index card-like notes in The New Yorker (September 2010).

    1. In 1934, Marcel Duchamp announced the publication of his Green Box (edition of 320 copies) in a subscription bulletin — an enormous undertaking since each box contains 94 individual items mostly supposed “facsimiles” (Duchamp’s word) of notes first written between 1911 and 1915, each printed and torn upon templates to match the borders of the scribbled originals for a total of 30,080 scraps and pages.

      Marcel Duchamp announced his project the Green Box in 1934 as an edition of 320 copies of a box of 94 items. Most of the items were supposed "facsimiles" as described by Duchamp, of notes he wrote from 1911 to 1915.

      How is or isn't this like a zettelkasten or card index, admittedly a small collection?

    1. Roland Barthes par Roland Barthes. This time, the index cards werealready there. One of the pages of illustrations of the volume reproduces three ofthem in facsimile. The text doesn’t comment on them, doesn’t even allude tothem. There is just a caption: “Reversal: of scholarly origin, the index card endsup following the twists and turns of the drive.”

      In his book Roland Barthes par (by) Roland Barthes, Barthes reproduces three of his index cards in facsimile. The text doesn't comment or even allude to them, they're presented only with the captions "Reversal: of scholarly origin, the note follows the various twists and turns of movement." "...outside...", and "...or at a desk".

      In this setting, the card index proves itself the most direct co-author as it physically appears in Barthes' autobiography!

    2. A filing system is indefinitely expandable, rhizomatic (at any point of timeor space, one can always insert a new card); in contradistinction with the sequen-tial irreversibility of the pages of the notebook and of the book, its interiormobility allows for permanent reordering (for, even if there is no narrative conclu-sion of a diary, there is a last page of the notebook on which it is written: its pagesare numbered, like days on a calendar).

      Most writing systems and forms force a beginning and an end, they force a particular structure that is both finite and limiting. The card index (zettelkasten) may have a beginning—there's always a first note or card, but it never has to have an end unless one's ownership is so absolute it ends with the life of its author. There are an ever-increasing number of ways to order a card index, though some try to get around this to create some artificial stability by numbering or specifically ordering their cards. New ideas can be accepted into the index at a multitude of places and are always internally mobile and re-orderable.

      link to Luhmann's works on describing this sort of rhizomatic behavior of his zettelkasten


      Within a network model framing for a zettelkasten, one might define thinking as traversing a graph of idea nodes in a particular order. Alternately it might also include randomly juxtaposing cards and creating links between ones which have similarities. Which of these modes of thinking has a higher order? Which creates more value? Which requires more work?

    3. Not unlike Duchamp’s door that is both open and closed at thesame time, the card file resists the syntagmatic closure of the sentence by sustain-ing the openness of the paradigm.

      Resisting syntagmatic closure

      Ideas placed into a card file or zettelkasten resist syntagmatic closure. Even well-formed structures in a card file can accept, expand, and integrate new ideas.

      Is a zettelkasten ever done?

    4. It is also the best support for the opera aperta, whose desire was pervasive in the1950s and 1960s

      Denis Hollier suggests that the index card file is "the best support for the opera aperta, whose desire was pervasive in the 1950s and 1960s."

    5. But there were for Leiris earlierassociations of Mallarmé’s work with more literal containers. In his preface to his1925 first edition of Igitur, a text to which Leiris refers on a variety of occasions,Dr. Bonniot, the son-in-law of the poet, had written: “Mallarmé, as we know, usedto jot down his first ideas, the first outlines of his work on eighths of half-sheets ofschool notebook size—notes he would keep in big wooden boxes of China tea.” 15

      Bonniot quoted in Michel Leiris, La Règle du jeu (Paris: Gallimard, 2003), p. 1658.

      Stéphane Mallarmé's son in law Dr. Bonniot indicates that "Mallarmé, as we know, used to jot down his first ideas, the first outlines of his work on eighths of half-sheets of school notebook size—notes he would keep in big wooden boxes of China tea.”

      Given that Mallarmé lived from 1842 to 1898, his life predated the general rise and mass manufacture of the index card, but like many of his generation and several before, he relied on self-made note tools like standard sized sheets of paper cut in eighths which he kept in somewhat standard sized boxes.

    6. The 1931–33 Dakar-Djibouti anthropologicalexpedition had been for him an intensive training ground for the systematic tech-nique of note-card filing. While in the process of becoming a professionalethnographer and of setting the stage for the dual exploration of autobiographyand ethnography that will inform his further work for more than fifty years, thisalmost-manual (artisanal) aspect of his professional training will soon lead him toopen a sort of autobiographical account, a kind of safe into which he will depositentries cut out (i.e., copied out) from his diary, before drawing from this frequentlyreshuffled and augmented portfolio of memories, anecdotes, ideas, and feelings,small and big, to feed his continuous self-portrait. 13 The result is a secondary, indi-rect autobiography, originating not from the subject’s innermost self, but from thestack of index cards (the autobiographical shards) in the little box on the author’sdesk. A self built on stilts, on “pilotis,” relying not on direct, live memories (as inProust’s involuntary memory), but on archival documentation, on paper work, aself that relates to himself indirectly, by means of quotation, of self-compilation.

      I like the idea here that a collection of index card notes combined and recombined might create an autobiography.

      Link to Henry Korn's cards.

    7. according to Nathalie Léger, one of thecurators of the Barthes exhibit at the Centre Pompidou in 2002, there are 12,250 slipsin Roland Barthes’s bequest at Institut Mémoires de l’édition contemporaine (IMEC).2

      Nathalie Léger, “Immensément et en détail,” in R/B Roland Barthes, exh. cat. (Paris: Seuil, Centre Pompidou, IMEC, 2002), p. 91.

      Nathalie Léger has indicated that there are 12,250 slips in Roland Barthes' bequest at the Institut Mémoires de l’édition contemporaine (IMEC).

    8. There are 399 cardsfiled in Leiris’s box for La Règle du jeu1

      I published them as an appendix in the Pléiade edition of La Règle du jeu (Paris: Gallimard, 2003), pp. 1155–1265

      Michael Leiris wrote La Règle du jeu on 399 cards which he kept in a box.

    1. Wilken, Rowan. “The Card Index as Creativity Machine.” Culture Machine 11 (2010): 7–30.

      file: https://culturemachine.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/373-604-1-PB.pdf

    2. the index card. This is despite the fact that itfunctions as such in a variety of different ways in relation to textualorganisation, composition and authorship. In the space that remains,I wish to tease out this idea of the index card as a creative agent inknowledge production by returning to reconsider the issue of theindex card as an archival or ‘mnemotechnical’ device.

      The simple card index can serve a number of functions including as an archive, a mnemonic device, a teacher, an organizational tool, a composition device, a creativity engine, and an authorship tool.

    3. Furthermore,combinatorial logic dictates that the card index is also the wellspringof creativity insofar as it permits expansive possibilities for futureintellectual endeavours (see Hollier, 2005: 40; cf. Krapp, 2006:367).
    4. QuotingFriedrich Kittler, Thorn explains that the aim of such an all-encompassing approach to media is to focus on the ‘networks oftechnologies and institutions that allow a given culture to select,store, and process relevant data’ (cited in Thorn, 2008: 7).

      Has media studies looked at primary orality and the ideas of space repetition, art, dance, and mnemonics as base layers of media by which cultures created networks of knowledge and culture that they might use to select, store, process, copy, and pass along their knowledge?

    5. The Card Index as Creativity Machine

      Rowan Wilken admits that Cornelia Vismann's use of files for transmission, storage, cancellation, manipulation, and destruction are remarkable, but that the key feature of the card index as a file type is its use for creative production.

    6. as in much of his published work, Barthes doesn’t just performcritique; he works to unsettle the performance of critique throughperformance, especially via his creative engagement with thefragmental text – an engagement, as I have argued above, which isvery much shaped by his own card index use.
    7. the index card serves as bothexample and facilitator of the concept of the lexia.
    8. it ispossible to view Barthes’ concept of the lexia as an almost literaltranslation of his own use of index cards for recording various ‘unitsof reading’ and other ideas and associations.
    9. All of the major books that were to follow – Sade /Fourier / Loyola (1997), The Pleasure of the Text (1975), RolandBarthes by Roland Barthes (1977), A Lover’s Discourse (1990), andCamera Lucida (1993) – are texts that are ‘plural’ and ‘broken’, andwhich are ‘constructed from non-totalizable fragments and fromexuberantly proliferating “details”’ (Bensmaïa, 1987: xxvii-xxxviii).In all of the above cases the fragment becomes the key unit ofcomposition, with each text structured around the arrangement ofmultiple (but non-totalisable) textual fragments.

      Does the fact that Barthes uses a card index in his composition and organization influence the overall theme of his final works which could be described as "non-totalizable fragments"?

    10. theprimary aim here is to explore how Barthes uses the notion of the‘non-totalisable’ fragment in his own work, and how this ties in witha discussion of his use of index cards.

      a good summary of the overall paper?

    11. According to Krapp, admissions like this, along with Barthes’inclusion of facsimiles of his cards in Roland Barthes by RolandBarthes, are all part of Barthes ‘outing’ his card catalogue as ‘co-author of his texts’ (Krapp, 2006: 363). The precise wording of thisformulation – designating the card index as ‘co-author’ – and theagency it ascribes to these index cards are significant in that theysuggest a usage that extends beyond mere memory aid to formsomething that is instrumental to the very organisation of Barthes’ideas and the published representations of these ideas.
    12. As Calvet explains, this consisted of Barthes ‘writing out his cardsevery day, making notes on every possible subject, then classifyingand combining them in different ways until he found a structure or aset of themes’ (1994: 113) which he could proceed to work with.
    13. What is evident from this discussion of Michelet and the earlierinterview excerpt is the way that Barthes used index cards both as anorganisational and as a problem-solving tool

      Barthes used his card index as an organizational tool as well as a problem-solving tool.

    14. As Calvetexplains, in thinking through the organisation of Michelet, Barthes‘tried out different combinations of cards, as in playing a game ofpatience, in order to work out a way of organising them and to findcorrespondences between them’ (113).

      Louis-Jean Calvet explains that in writing Michelet, Barthes used his notes on index cards to try out various combinations of cards to both organize them as well as "to find correspondences between them."

    15. Louis-Jean Calvet details the pivotal role played by indexcards in the organisation of Barthes’ Michelet.
    16. published under the title‘An Almost Obsessive Relation to Writing Instruments’, which firstappeared in Le Monde in 1973

      There is apparently an English translation by Linda Coverdale of this interview was published posthumously by University of California Press in The Grain of The Voice

      There's also another edition The Grain of the Voice: Interviews 1962-1980 by Roland Barthes; Translated by Linda Coverdale; Northwestern University Press, 384 Pages, 5.50 x 8.50 in, 8 b-w Paperback, ISBN: 9780810126404; Published: December 2009, https://nupress.northwestern.edu/9780810126404/the-grain-of-the-voice/

      Is there anything else worthwhile in this interview about note taking?

    17. published under the title‘An Almost Obsessive Relation to Writing Instruments’, which firstappeared in Le Monde in 1973, Barthes describes the method thatguides his use of index cards:I’m content to read the text in question, in a ratherfetishistic way: writing down certain passages,moments, even words which have the power tomove me. As I go along, I use my cards to writedown quotations, or ideas which come to me, asthey do so, curiously, already in the rhythm of asentence, so that from that moment on, things arealready taking on an existence as writing. (1991:181)

      In an interview with Le Monde in 1973, Barthes indicated that while his note taking practice was somewhat akin to that of a commonplace book where one might collect interesting passages, or quotations, he was also specifically writing down ideas which came to him, but doing so in "in the rhythm of a sentence, so that from that moment on, things are already taking on an existence as writing." This indicates that he's already preparing for future publications in which he might use those very ideas and putting them into a more finished form than most might think of when considering shorter fleeting notes used simply as a reminder. By having the work already done, he can easily put his own ideas directly into longer works.


      Was there any evidence that his notes were crosslinked or indexed in a way so that he could more rapidly rearrange his ideas and pre-written thoughts to more easily copy them into longer articles or books?

    18. By the early 1970s, Barthes’ long-standing use of index cards wasrevealed through reproduction of sample cards in Roland Barthes byRoland Barthes (see Barthes, 1977b: 75). These reproductions,Hollier (2005: 43) argues, have little to do with their content andare included primarily for reality-effect value, as evidence of anexpanding taste for historical documents

      While the three index cards of Barthes that were reproduced in the 1977 edition of Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes may have been "primarily for reality-effect value as evidence of an expanding taste for historical documents" as argued by Hollier, it does indicate the value of the collection to Barthes himself as part of an autobiographical work.

      I've noticed that one of the cards is very visibly about homosexuality in a time where public discussion of the term was still largely taboo. It would be interesting to have a full translation of the three cards to verify Hollier's claim, as at least this one does indicate the public consumption of the beginning of changing attitudes on previously taboo subject matter, even for a primarily English speaking audience which may not have been able to read or understand them, but would have at least been able to guess the topic.

      At least some small subset of the general public might have grown up with an index-card-based note taking practice and guessed at what their value may have been though largely at that point index card note systems were generally on their way out.

    19. Much of Barthes’ intellectual and pedagogical work was producedusing his cards, not just his published texts. For example, Barthes’Collège de France seminar on the topic of the Neutral, thepenultimate course he would take prior to his death, consisted offour bundles of about 800 cards on which was recorded everythingfrom ‘bibliographic indications, some summaries, notes, andprojects on abandoned figures’ (Clerc, 2005: xxi-xxii).

      In addition to using his card index for producing his published works, Barthes also used his note taking system for teaching as well. His final course on the topic of the Neutral, which he taught as a seminar at Collège de France, was contained in four bundles consisting of 800 cards which contained everything from notes, summaries, figures, and bibliographic entries.


      Given this and the easy portability of index cards, should we instead of recommending notebooks, laptops, or systems like Cornell notes, recommend students take notes directly on their note cards and revise them from there? The physicality of the medium may also have other benefits in terms of touch, smell, use of colors on them, etc. for memory and easy regular use. They could also be used physically for spaced repetition relatively quickly.

      Teachers using their index cards of notes physically in class or in discussions has the benefit of modeling the sort of note taking behaviors we might ask of our students. Imagine a classroom that has access to a teacher's public notes (electronic perhaps) which could be searched and cross linked by the students in real-time. This would also allow students to go beyond the immediate topic at hand, but see how that topic may dovetail with the teachers' other research work and interests. This also gives greater meaning to introductory coursework to allow students to see how it underpins other related and advanced intellectual endeavors and invites the student into those spaces as well. This sort of practice could bring to bear the full weight of the literacy space which we center in Western culture, for compare this with the primarily oral interactions that most teachers have with students. It's only in a small subset of suggested or required readings that students can use for leveraging the knowledge of their teachers while all the remainder of the interactions focus on conversation with the instructor and questions that they might put to them. With access to a teacher's card index, they would have so much more as they might also query that separately without making demands of time and attention to their professors. Even if answers aren't immediately forthcoming from the file, then there might at least be bibliographic entries that could be useful.

      I recently had the experience of asking a colleague for some basic references about the history and culture of the ancient Near East. Knowing that he had some significant expertise in the space, it would have been easier to query his proverbial card index for the lived experience and references than to bother him with the burden of doing work to pull them up.

      What sorts of digital systems could help to center these practices? Hypothes.is quickly comes to mind, though many teachers and even students will prefer to keep their notes private and not public where they're searchable.

      Another potential pathway here are systems like FedWiki or anagora.org which provide shared and interlinked note spaces. Have any educators attempted to use these for coursework? The closest I've seen recently are public groups using shared Roam Research or Obsidian-based collections for book clubs.

    20. The filing cards or slipsthat Barthes inserted into his index-card system adhered to a ‘strictformat’: they had to be precisely one quarter the size of his usualsheet of writing paper. Barthes (1991: 180) records that this systemchanged when standards were readjusted as part of moves towardsEuropean unification. Within the collection there was considerable‘interior mobility’ (Hollier, 2005: 40), with cards constantlyreordered. There were also multiple layerings of text on each card,with original text frequently annotated and altered.

      Barthes kept his system to a 'strict format' of cards which were one quarter the size of his usual sheet of writing paper, though he did adjust the size over time as paper sizes standardized within Europe. Hollier indicates that the collection had considerable 'interior mobility' and the cards were constantly reordered with use. Barthes also apparently frequently annotated and altered his notes on cards, so they were also changing with use over time.


      Did he make his own cards or purchase them? The sizing of his paper with respect to his cards might indicate that he made his own as it would have been relatively easy to fold his own paper in half twice and cut it up.

      Were his cards numbered or marked so as to be able to put them into some sort of standard order? There's a mention of 'interior mobility' and if this was the case were they just floating around internally or were they somehow indexed and tethered (linked) together?

      The fact that they were regularly used, revise, and easily reordered means that they could definitely have been used to elicit creativity in the same manner as Raymond Llull's combinatorial art, though done externally rather than within one's own mind.

    21. Barthes’ use of these cards goes back tohis first readin g of Michelet in 1943, which, as Hollier (2005: 40)notes, is more or less also the time of his very first articles. By 1945,Barthes had already amassed over 1,000 index cards on Michelet’swork alone, which he reportedly transported with him everywhere,from Romania to Egypt (Calvet, 1994: 113).

      Note the idea here about how easily portable a 1,000 card index must have been or alternately how important it must have been that Barthes traveled with it.

    22. I am speaking here of what appear to be Barthes’ fichier boîte or indexcard boxes which are visible on the shelf above and behind his head.

      First time I've run across the French term fichier boîte (literally 'file box') for index card boxes or files.


      As someone looking into note taking practices and aware of the idea of the zettelkasten, the suspense is building for me. I'm hoping this paper will have the payoff I'm looking for: a description of Roland Barthes' note taking methods!

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Wp6q5hUdtA

      Nice example of someone building their own paper-based zettelkasten an how they use it.

      Seemingly missing here is any sort of indexing system which means one is more reliant on the threads from one card to the next. Also missing are any other examples of links to other cards beyond the one this particular card is placed behind.

      Scott Scheper is using the word antinet, presumably to focus on non-digital versions of zettelkasten. Sounds more like a marketing word that essentially means paper zettelkasten or card index.

    1. 2. What influence does annotating with an audience have on how you annotate? My annotations and notes generally are fragile things, tentative formulations, or shortened formulations that have meaning because of what they point to (in my network of notes and thoughts), not so much because of their wording. Likewise my notes and notions read differently than my blog posts. Because my blog posts have an audience, my notes/notions are half of the internal dialogue with myself. Were I to annotate in the knowledge that it would be public, I would write very differently, it would be more a performance, less probing forwards in my thoughts. I remember that publicly shared bookmarks with notes in Delicious already had that effect for me. Do you annotate differently in public view, self censoring or self editing?

      To a great extent, Hypothes.is has such a small footprint of users (in comparison to massive platforms like Twitter, Facebook, etc.) that it's never been a performative platform for me. As a design choice they have specifically kept their social media functionalities very sparse, so one also doesn't generally encounter the toxic elements that are rampant in other locations. This helps immensely. I might likely change my tune if it were ever to hit larger scales or experienced the Eternal September effect.

      Beyond this, I mostly endeavor to write things for later re-use. As a result I'm trying to write as clearly as possible in full sentences and explain things as best I can so that my future self doesn't need to do heavy work or lifting to recreate the context or do heavy editing. Writing notes in public and knowing that others might read these ideas does hold my feet to the fire in this respect. Half-formed thoughts are often shaky and unclear both to me and to others and really do no one any good. In personal experience they also tend not to be revisited and revised or revised as well as I would have done the first time around (in public or otherwise).

      Occasionally I'll be in a rush reading something and not have time for more detailed notes in which case I'll do my best to get the broad gist knowing that later in the day or at least within the week, I'll revisit the notes in my own spaces and heavily elaborate on them. I've been endeavoring to stay away from this bad habit though as it's just kicking the can down the road and not getting the work done that I ultimately want to have. Usually when I'm being fast/lazy, my notes will revert to highlighting and tagging sections of material that are straightforward facts that I'll only be reframing into my own words at a later date for reuse. If it's an original though or comment or link to something important, I'll go all in and put in the actual work right now. Doing it later has generally been a recipe for disaster in my experience.

      There have been a few instances where a half-formed thought does get seen and called out. Or it's a thought which I have significantly more personal context for and that is only reflected in the body of my other notes, but isn't apparent in the public version. Usually these provide some additional insight which I hadn't had that makes the overall enterprise more interesting. Here's a recent example, albeit on a private document, but which I think still has enough context to be reasonably clear: https://hypothes.is/a/vmmw4KPmEeyvf7NWphRiMw

      There may also be infrequent articles online which are heavily annotated and which I'm excerpting ideas to be reused later. In these cases I may highlight and rewrite them in my own words for later use in a piece, but I'll make them private or put them in a private group as they don't add any value to the original article or potential conversation though they do add significant value to my collection as "literature notes" for immediate reuse somewhere in the future. On broadly unannotated documents, I'll leave these literature notes public as a means of modeling the practice for others, though without the suggestion of how they would be (re-)used for.

      All this being said, I will very rarely annotate things privately or in a private group if they're of a very sensitive cultural nature or personal in manner. My current set up with Hypothesidian still allows me to import these notes into Obsidian with my API key. In practice these tend to be incredibly rare for me and may only occur a handful of times in a year.

      Generally my intention is that ultimately all of my notes get published in something in a final form somewhere, so I'm really only frontloading the work into the notes now to make the writing/editing process easier later.

    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

    1. When Vladimir Nabokov died in 1977, he left instructions for his heirs to burn the 138 handwritten index cards that made up the rough draft of his final and unfinished novel, The Original of Laura. But Nabokov’s wife, Vera, could not bear to destroy her husband’s last work, and when she died, the fate of the manuscript fell to her son. Dmitri Nabokov, now seventy-five—the Russian novelist’s only surviving heir, and translator of many of his books—has wrestled for three decades with the decision of whether to honor his father’s wish or preserve for posterity the last piece of writing of one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.

      Nabokov's wishes were that his heirs burn the index cards on which he had handwritten the beginning of his unfinished novel The Original of Laura. His wife Vera, not able to destroy her husband's work, couldn't do it, so the decision fell to their son Dimitri. Having translated many of his father's works previously, Dimitri Nabokov ultimately allowed Penguin the right to publish the unfinished novel.

    1. Reviewing The Original of Laura, Alexander Theroux describes the cards as a “portable strategy that allowed [Nabokov] to compose in the car while his wife drove the devoted lepidopterist on butterfly expeditions.”

      While note cards have a certain portability about them for writing almost anywhere, aren't notebooks just as easily portable? In fact, with a notebook, one doesn't need to worry about spilling and unordering the entire enterprise.

      There are, however, other benefits. By using small atomic pieces on note cards, one can be far more focused on the idea and words immediately at hand. It's also far easier in a creative and editorial process to move pieces around experimentally.

      Similarly, when facing Hemmingway's White Bull, the size and space of an index card is fall smaller. This may have the effect that Twitter's short status updates have for writers who aren't faced with the seemingly insurmountable burden of writing a long blog post or essay in other software. They can write 280 characters and stop. Of if they feel motivated, they can continue on by adding to the prior parts of a growing thread. Sadly, Twitter doesn't allow either editing or rearrangements, so the endeavor and analogy are lost beyond here.

    2. Having died in 1977, Nabokov never completed the book, and so all Penguin had to publish decades later came to, as the subtitle indicates, A Novel in Fragments. These “fragments” he wrote on 138 cards, and the book as published includes full-color reproductions that you can actually tear out and organize — and re-organize — for yourself, “complete with smudges, cross-outs, words scrawled out in Russian and French (he was trilingual) and annotated notes to himself about titles of chapters and key points he wants to make about his characters.”

      Vladimir Nabokov died in 1977 leaving an unfinished manuscript in note card form for the novel The Original of Laura. Penguin later published the incomplete novel with in 2012 with the subtitle A Novel in Fragments. Unlike most manuscripts written or typewritten on larger paper, this one came in the form of 138 index cards. Penguin's published version recreated these cards in full-color reproductions including the smudges, scribbles, scrawlings, strikeouts, and annotations in English, French, and Russian. Perforated, one could tear the cards out of the book and reorganize in any way they saw fit or even potentially add their own cards to finish the novel that Nabokov couldn't.


      Link to the idea behind Cain’s Jawbone by Edward Powys Mathers which had a different conceit, but a similar publishing form.

    3. https://www.openculture.com/2014/02/the-notecards-on-which-vladimir-nabokov-wrote-lolita.html

      Some basic information about Vladimir Nabokov's card file which he was using to write The Origin of Laura and a tangent on cards relating to Lolita.

    1. Henri Cartier-Bresson, Roland Barthes, 1963. © PAR79520 Henri CartierBresson/Magnum Photos.

      A photo of Roland Barthes from 1963 featured in Picturing Barthes: The Photographic Construction of Authorship (Oxford University Press, 2020) DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266670.003.0007

      There appears to be in index card file behind him in the photo, which he may have used for note taking in the mode of a zettelkasten.

      link to journal article notes on:

      Wilken, Rowan. “The Card Index as Creativity Machine.” Culture Machine 11 (2010): 7–30. https://culturemachine.net/creative-media/

  8. Feb 2022
    1. Chapter 3: The First Card Index?

      Markus Krajewski outlines some of the history of the creation of the first library card catalog and structures it in such a way as to create parallels between its structure and that of the structure of a modern day computer.

      He covers the creation of catalogs at the court of Vienna, the Vienna University Library, an an attempted but failed national cataloging effort in France called the Bureau de Bibliographie at the Louvre. By 1974 the French effort had at least 1.2 million cards for 3 million volumes.

    2. In preparing these instructions, Gaspard-Michel LeBlond, one of their authors, urges the use of uniform media for registering titles, suggesting that “ catalog materials are not diffi cult to assemble; it is suffi cient to use playing cards [. . .] Whether one writes lengthwise or across the backs of cards, one should pick one way and stick with it to preserve uniformity. ” 110 Presumably LeBlond was familiar with the work of Abb é Rozier fi fteen years earlier; it is unknown whether precisely cut cards had been used before Rozier. The activity of cutting up pages is often mentioned in prior descrip-tions.

      In published instructions issued on May 8, 1791 in France, Gaspard-Michel LeBlond by way of standardization for library catalogs suggests using playing cards either vertically or horizontally but admonishing catalogers to pick one orientation and stick with it. He was likely familiar with the use of playing cards for this purpose by Abbé Rozier fifteen years earlier.

    3. 4. What follows is the compilation of the basic catalog; that is, all book titles are copied on a piece of paper (whose pagina aversa must remain blank) according to a specifi c order, so that together with the title of every book and the name of the author, the place, year, and format of the printing, the volume, and the place of the same in the library is marked.

      Benedictine abbot Franz Stephan Rautenstrauch (1734 – 1785) in creating the Catalogo Topographico for the Vienna University Library created a nine point instruction set for cataloging, describing, and ordering books which included using paper slips.


      Interesting to note that the admonishment to leave the backs of the slips (pagina aversa), in the 1780's seems to make its way into 20th century practice by Luhmann and others.

    4. Indeed, the Jose-phinian card index owes its continued use to the failure to achieve a bound

      catalog, until a successor card catalog comes along in 1848. Only the<br /> absence of a bound repertory allows the paper slip aggregate to answer all inquiries about a book ’ s whereabouts after 1781. Thus, a failed undertaking tacitly turns into a success story.

      The Josephinian card index was created, in part on the ideas of Konrad Gessner's slip method, by accumulating slips which could be rearranged and then copied down permanently. While there was the chance that the original cards could be disordered, the fact that the approximately 300,000 cards in 205 small boxes were estimated to fill 50 to 60 folio volumes with time and expense to print it dissuaded the creation of a long desired compiled book of books. These problems along with the fact that new books being added later was sure to only compound problems of having a single reference. This failure to have a bound catalog of books unwittingly resulted in the success of the index card catalog.

    5. The undertaking that begins on May 22, 1780, later to be called the Jose-phinian catalog , is extant in “ 205 small boxes ” in an airtight locker in the

      Austrian National Library; it is widely, and often proudly, considered the first card catalog in library history.

      The first card catalogue in library history, later known as the Josephinian catalog, began on May 22, 1780 in the Austrian National Library.

    6. Rozier chances upon the labor-saving idea of producing catalogs according to Gessner ’ s procedures — that is, transferring titles onto one side of a piece of paper before copying them into tabular form. Yet he optimizes this process by dint of a small refi nement, with regard to the paper itself: instead of copying data onto specially cut octavo sheets, he uses uniformly and precisely cut paper whose ordinary purpose obeys the contingent pleasure of being shuffl ed, ordered, and exchanged: “ cartes à jouer. ” 35 In sticking strictly to the playing card sizes available in prerevolutionary France (either 83 × 43 mm or 70 × 43 mm), Rozier cast his bibliographical specifi cations into a standardized and therefore easily handled format.

      Abbé François Rozier cleverly transferred book titles onto the blank side of French playing cards instead of cut octavo sheets as a means of indexing after being appointed in 1775 to index the holdings of the Académie des Sciences in Paris.

  9. Jan 2022
    1. A fine grained security mechanism

      一个细粒度的安全机制

    2. Bulk requests allow for multiple JMX operations with a single remote server roundtrip

      批量请求允许在一个单独的请求中,使用多个JMX操作,

    3. This opens a whole new world for different

      这打开了一个全新的世界

    4. but uses the much more open HTTP for its transport business where the data payload is serialized in JSON.

      但是对外传输业务使用更开放的HTTP, 数据载荷使用反序列化的JSON

    5. side by side

      肩并肩 living side by side with JSR-160

    6. It is an agent based approach

      这是一个基于代理的方法

    7. not usable outside the Java world.

      在java世界之外不可用

    8. Add-on standards like JSR-77 didn't received the adoption level they deserved

      像JSR-77这样的附加标准,并没有得到应有的采用级别

    9. Especially the various levels of sophistications for implementing MBeans

      特别是实现mbeans的各种复杂程度

    10. impressive

      Especially the various levels of sophistications for implementing MBeans, starting with dead simple Standard MBeans and ending in very flexible Open MBeans and MXBeans, are impressive. 令人影响深刻

    11. Even more than ten years after its incubation

      在他孵化十年后

    12. crafted specification

      I love JMX. It is a well crafted specification, #card

      • 设计精心的规范
    13. failed spectacularly

      壮观的失败

    1. the card index functions as an en-gine of variety rather than as an engine of redundancy.
    2. 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.

    3. Christoph Meinel, ‘Enzyklopädie der Welt und Verzettelung des Wissens: Aporien der Empirie bei Joachim Jungius’, in Enzyklopädien der frühen Neuzeit. Beiträge zu ihrer Er-forschung, ed. Franz M. Eybl (Tübingen, 1995), 162–87; Richard Yeo, ‘Loose Notes and Ca-pacious Memory: Robert Boyle’s Note-Taking and its Rationale’, Intellectual History Review 20 (2010), 335–54; Alberto Cevolini, ‘The Art of trascegliere e notare in Early Modern Ital-ian Culture’, Intellectual History Review 29 (2019), forthcoming.
    1. The essay is most famous for its description of a hypothetical information-retrieval system, the Memex, a kind of mechanical Evernote, in which a person's every "book, record, or communication" was microfilmed and cataloged.

      It really kills me that there's so much hero worship of all this, particularly given the information processing power of index card systems at the time. I don't really think it took such a leap to image automating such a system given the technological bent of the time.

      Of course actually doing it is another thing, but conceptualizing the idea at the time would have be de rigueur.

  10. Dec 2021
    1. Through an inner structure of recursive links and semantic pointers, a card index achieves a proper autonomy; it behaves as a ‘communication partner’ who can recommend unexpected associations among different ideas. I suggest that in this respect pre-adaptive advances took root in early modern Europe, and that this basic requisite for information pro-cessing machines was formulated largely by the keyword ‘order’.

      aliases for "topical headings": headwords keywords tags categories

    1. From 1676 onward, he follows an excerpting practice that directly refers to Jungius (via one of his students). Regarding Leibniz ’ s Excerpt Cabinet He wrote on slips of paper whatever occurred to him — in part when perusing books, in part during meditation or travel or out on walks — yet he did not let the paper slips (particularly the excerpts) cover each other in a mess; it was his habit to sort through them every now and then.

      According to one of his students, Leibniz used his note cabinet both for excerpts that he took from his reading as well as notes an ideas he came up separately from his reading.

      Most of the commonplace book tradition consisted of excerpting, but when did note taking practice begin to aggregate de novo notes with commonplaces?

    2. Leibniz ’ s propos-als for an indispensable library guide that mark the beginning of his activity in Wolfenb ü ttel in December 1690 include ideas on the form of cataloging: “ paper slips of all books, sorted pro materia et autoribus. ” 57 The plan antici-pates registering every book merely once, precisely on a slip of paper, so that the slip only has to be placed in the right order for any catalog organized alphabetically, by subject, or in any other way. Theoretically, this procedure could have successfully made numerous catalogs with the same data set. However, the plan is never carried out. In fact, the librarians supervised by Leibniz manage merely to assemble an alphabetical catalog; all the other plans fail for lack of employees and funding

      Leibnitz created a plan for creating a library card catalog for Wolfenbüttel in December 1690, which would have been similar in form to 20th century card catalogs, but the idea was never carried out for lack of employees and funding.

    3. Hugo Blotius, whose term in offi ce in the dusty halls of the Vienna court library lasted from 1575 to 1608.

      Hugo Blotius was a librarian at the Vienna court library from 1575 to 1608.

    4. The processing of excerpts follows the simplest algorithm: 1. When reading, everything of importance and whatever appears useful should be copied onto a good sheet of paper. 2. A new line should be used for every idea. 3. “ Finally, cut out everything you have copied with a pair of scissors; arrange the slips as you desire, fi rst into larger clusters which can then be subdivided again as often as necessary. ” 21 4. As soon as the desired order is produced, arranged, and sorted on tables or in small boxes, it should be fi xed or copied directly. 22

      This algorithm described in Gessner, 1548 fol. 19-20 is precisely that of a zettelkasten, though effectuated with slips of paper either glued or held by thread rails into a book.

      The last point number 4, even takes it so far as to arrange the individual notes into a logical order and copy them into something fixed, which one could readily view as an article.

      Gessner, Konrad. 1548. Pandectarum sive Partitionum Universalium. Zurich: Christoph Froschauer.

    5. list-sorted management on an index card basis is coupled with the organizational discourse of scientifi c management, which discovers the card index as an economic optimization tool and develops it into an instrument of rationalization.
    6. the United States has its own home-grown technique. In 1817, William Croswell ’ s

      unfortunate project of devising a comprehensive catalog for the Harvard College Library marks the birth of the American card index—out of a spirit of sloth.

      William Croswell's work at creating a comprehensive catalog for the Harvard College Library results in the first card index in America.

    7. the box of paper slips reaches the East Coast of the United States through librarians who study in Europe and then apply the practice to the cataloging of their growing collections in the course of the nineteenth century.

      In the 19th century, the box of paper slips (zettelkasten) as a technology reaches the east coast of the United states by way of librarians who study in Europe and then apply the practice of cataloguing their own collections.

    8. the fi rst card catalog in library history in Vienna around 1780.

      The first card catalogue dates to Vienna around 1780.

    9. Here, I also briefl y digress and examine two coinciding addressing logics: In the same decade and in the same town, the origin of the card index cooccurs with the invention of the house number. This establishes the possibility of abstract representation of (and controlled access to) both texts and inhabitants.

      Curiously, and possibly coincidently, the idea of the index card and the invention of the house number co-occur in the same decade and the same town. This creates the potential of abstracting the representation of information and people into numbers for easier access and linking.

    10. This comparison is not to claim that the index catalog is already a Turing machine. Comparisons, transfers, and analogies are not that simple. If the elements of a universal discrete machine are present, they still lack the computational logic of an operating system, the development of which constitutes Turing ’ s foundational achievement. What is described here is merely the fact that the card catalog is liter-ally a paper machine, similar to a nontrivial Turing machine only in having similar components — no more, no less.

      I felt some of this missing piece and so included the idea of human interaction as part of the process to make up the balance.

    11. What differs here from other data storage (as in the medium of the codex book) is a simple and obvious principle: information is available on separate, uniform, and mobile carriers and can be further arranged and processed according to strict systems of order.

      The primary value of the card catalogue and index cards as tools for thought is that it is a self-contained, uniform and mobile carrier that can be arranged and processed based on strict systems of order. Books have many of these properties, but the information isn't as atomic or as easily re-ordered.

    12. s Alan Turing proved only years later, these machines merely need (1) a (theoretically infi nite) partitioned paper tape, (2) a writing and reading head, and (3) an exact

      procedure for the writing and reading head to move over the paper segments. This book seeks to map the three basic logical components of every computer onto the card catalog as a “ paper machine,” analyzing its data processing and interfaces that may justify the claim, “Card catalogs can do anything!”

      Purpose of the book.

      A card catalog of index cards used by a human meets all the basic criteria of a Turing machine, or abstract computer, as defined by Alan Turing.

    13. “ Card catalogs can do anything ” — this is the slogan Fortschritt GmbH

      What a great quote to start off a book like this!

  11. Nov 2021
    1. on advocate for the index card in the early twentieth century called for animitation of “accountants of the modern schoolY”1

      Paul Chavigny, Organisation du travail intellectuel: Recettes pratiques a` l’usage des e ́tudiants de toutes les faculte ́s et de tous les travailleurs (Paris, 1920)

      Chavigny was an advocate for the index card in note taking in imitation of "accountants of the modern school". We know that the rise of the index card was hastened by the innovation of Melvil Dewey's company using index cards as part of their internal accounting system, which they actively exported to other companies as a product.

  12. Oct 2021
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  13. Sep 2021
    1. There are endless ways of organizing your notes—by book, by author, by topic, by the time of reading. It doesn’t matter which system you use as long as you will be able to find the notes in the future.

      Or by all of the above... Library card catalogues did all three, but most digital systems will effectuate all of them as well.

  14. Aug 2021
    1. Up to 1200 the contents list of a monastic library was usually merely an inventory: it marked the presence of a book, but not its location. The later Middle Ages saw a surge of real catalogues, listing books and their location. Some of these catalogues were written out in books (as we will see in a moment), while others were pasted to the wall in the library.
    1. Figure 10. ‘Pharmacopoea”, frontispiece in Carolus Linnaeus, Materia Medica(1749). Wellcome Library,London.

      Note the similarity of this filing cabinet system to the similar ideas of library card catalogs.

      Where does this fit into the timeline with respect to the publication date of 1749 on Pharmacopoea and Linnaeus' use of it?

    1. It’s not totally dissimilar to the Dewey Decimal system and old library card catalogs.

      Ryan Holiday notes the similarity of his method to that of the Dewey Decimal system and library card catalogs.