A Writer’s Diary #2: Goodbye, dear little filing system

1990s writer's filing system

Ye Olde Worlde Filing System, c1991.

Remember this? If you’re under 30, you’ve probably never seen one: it’s an index-card filing system. Before the internet, this is how we used to file our research. This is the one I compiled when I was writing my historical novel, The Occidentals, set in 19th-century Thailand.
I did six months of full-time research before I started writing the novel. This involved reading and indexing information from 42 books and hundreds of articles. Then, say, when I wanted to know about transport in Bangkok in the 1860s, I would look up the index card labelled “Transport”, and it would tell me the books, articles and page numbers where I would find the information.
Though I have not used this index since the late 1990s, I feel sentimental about it and have kept it all this time in my office. I’ve tried to throw it away several times, but something always stops me doing it. However, finally, I’ve agreed with myself, something once so useful has become just a waste of space.
So, I thought I would take a photo of it and write an obituary for my dear little filing system. Goodbye, you served me well, but now it’s time to go. Xoxo.

8 thoughts on “A Writer’s Diary #2: Goodbye, dear little filing system

  1. It loved its little place in the corner on the bottom of the bookshelf near the door. Will be missed (briefly, ’til something else takes up residence).

      • I know what you mean. I was used to writing everything down & making labels myself even though computers were emerging when I was a kid. Within the last 10-15 years though, we’ve been swallowed up by technology.
        For me, it does make things a bit faster, though.
        Now, whenever I go through my old collection of VHS tapes (remember those?!) I shall refer to them as “The Ye Olde Film Collection”! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Writer’s Diary #3: Into the unknown | The Crayon Files

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