Card Catalog Removal

A large portion of the University Library’s card catalog will be removed and recycled during the fall semester. This includes the General Catalog, an inaccurate representation of the Library’s collections last updated decades ago. Sampling has determined that 99.9996% of all the information on the cards in the General Catalog is in the online catalog . While this catalog has served the community for a long time, Illinois is among the last of the large research libraries to discard these catalogs.

The Library will retain portions of the card catalog of current value in providing access to some specialized resources and those representing a significant manifestation of historical scholarship on the Urbana-Champaign campus. This includes the Shelf List, Serial Record, and Thesis File.

Card catalogs on the second and third floor of the University’s Main Library will be removed allowing for much-needed renovation of the hallways, including new flooring, wall paint, and lighting. In addition, artwork that celebrates the University of Illinois—in particular its historic architecture—will be added to 2nd floor hallways.

Some of the original card catalog furniture will be kept by the Main Library and relocated to its historic Reading Room. The remaining pieces will be removed in keeping with state and university regulations. After being properly removed, the cabinets will be offered to the local Preservation and Conservation Association (PACA) where they will be made available for sale to the general public.

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