Do you remember library card catalogs?
Before the days of computers and electronic catalog records, these bulky wooden cabinets held individual cards for every book in the library’s collection. To find the book you wanted, you had to find the right drawer and flip through the cards.
One of those classic card catalogs has been creatively repurposed at the Webster Museum, to the delight of visiting children and adults alike. It was donated to the museum several years ago by Spry Middle School, and has found a new life as a kind of surprise cabinet.
Each of the cabinet’s 25 drawers now holds a different historical curiosity. They’re all very small items, of course, and run the gamut from jewelry and household objects to toys and personal grooming items.
The cabinet has become a regular stop on school tours of the museum, and the children enjoy taking turns pulling open a drawer and examining the tiny objects inside. (Most adults are rather fascinated as well.)
Next time you’re at the museum, discover for yourself how much history has been packed into those very small drawers.
The museum, located at 18 Lapham Park, is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Visit the website at webstermuseum.org for more historical tidbits about our town’s schools and teachers.