card index

noun
a file or catalog consisting of cards on which information has been entered so that desired items or data can be readily found.

Origin:
1840–50, Americanism

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World English Dictionary
card index or card file
 
n
1.  an index in which each item is separately listed on systematically arranged cards
 
vb
2.  (tr) to make such an index of (a book)
 
card file or card file
 
n
 
vb

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  card index
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  an ordered (often alphabetical) catalog or collection of information with descriptions of items on separate cards
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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Example sentences
There is also a card index of places and of more specific subjects.
If you come in and search the card index, no fee is charged.
For later clippings there is a card index in the clippings area.
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