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History of index cards, part whatever

Kevin Kelly has a terrific piece about edge-notched cards. They’re interesting to me because I’ve been working on a piece that’s part of a piece, that may be part of some other piece that uses the history of the punch card as a way to trace the emergence of modern information. Edge-notched cards have an interesting place because the notches both indicate data and are used as a physical mechanism for sorting.

Kevin’s post was prompted by Alex Wright’s terrific article recalling Paul Otlet as a network pioneer.


2 Responses to “History of index cards, part whatever”

  1. And for the real information geeks, here are some fun pictures of Paul Otlet’s work on cards etc…:

  2. In 1985 I took my first corporate job with an independent telephone company, Contel, as a Methods Analyst. One of my first tasks was to document how to read paper tapes used, at that time, in the Rose Bud, Illinois central office. These were punched data tapes and, needless to say, difficult to read without tearing.

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