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How Books Circulate
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Circulation Record Book
Villanova College Library
January 1935-September 1940
(Courtesy of the University Archives)

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This book contains circulation statistics for each day of each month and further subdivides the collection by call number. For example, on February 14, 1936 sixty-six books were checked out from the library.

Card Catalog Drawer
In use from: 1934 - 1986
(Special Collections, Falvey Memorial Library)


Drawers like this one housed the cards that were used to find books in the library prior to online catalogs. The card catalog, as it was called, was in use from 1934 to 1986 when the library converted to the “GEAC” system, an online public access catalog, which was an early predecessor to the internet accessible catalog that is in current use.

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Library Handbook, Falvey Memorial Library, Villanova University
September 1973


Villanova College Library, Library Card
c. 1940
(Courtesy of University Archives)

Book Capacity and Footage on Shelves of Library   
(Courtesy of the University Archives)
The bottom of this document outlines how the size of the card catalog was affected by the number of books that the library housed. Here the estimation is that there will be four cards for every one book. Since each card catalog drawer will hold 1,200 cards the estimation is that the library would need approximately 608 drawers to accommodate the 271,076 books in the library.

Overdue Notice                                     Overdue Notice
Pre-1953                                              February 1968
(Courtesy of the University Archives)      (Courtesy of the University Archives)

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falvey_BC2_5579WM_small.jpgFirst Ever Dot Matrix/IBM Printout of Overdue Books
January 18, 1968
(Courtesy of the University Archives)

Villanova University Students’ Handbook. 1974-1975
(Special Collections Falvey Memorial Library)

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IBM Card
November 12, 1972
(Courtesy of Michael Foight, Falvey Memorial Library)


Each time a book was checked out an IBM card for that book would be issued to the patron. This was an early mechanized way of keeping track of which books were charged, due, and overdue.