card catalog

a file of cards of uniform size arranged in some definite order and listing the items in the collection of a library or group of libraries, each card typically identifying a single item.

1850–55, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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card catalog

1. a library catalog in which each publication is described on a separate file card 
2. an alphabetical listing of items (e.g., books in a library) with a separate card for each item [syn: card index
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
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Example sentences
The knowledge came ordered into standard categories which could be pursued
  through a card catalog and into the pages of the books.
As such, this web-based application functions in much the same way as a
  library's card catalog.
They are also useful as a supplement to the card catalog.
The book collection can be accessed by the card catalog.
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