Re: [NGC4LIB] Google Ngram Results

Posting to NGC4LIB

On 10/03/2013 17:34, Karen Coyle wrote:

You have to look at the results, not just the stats. Card catalogs were very big in a wide variety of businesses and disciplines, not just in libraries. Prior to automation, many businesses that had to keep track of what today we would put into a database used cards.

” the Bureau has actively continued the compilation of a /card catalogue/ of the archeological sites”
” As a result, the Bureau now possesses a /card catalogue/, each card presenting either a brief statement of a labour event or else a summary of an article on a labour subject to be found in other libraries”
” This Directory had its origin in a /card catalogue/ of the professional anthropologists of the United States and Canada, begun in l926″
I do think that libraries were on the forefront of the modern “organization by card catalog” technology, but card-like systems had been in use in the early days of encyclopedias.[1] What is interesting about this history is how the (re-)invention of card systems in the early 1900’s prepared us for the computer, which initially was a machine that processed cards more quickly than humans could and in more different ways.

Good points, although the only word I searched that was specifically library-related was “OPAC”, and I opened that up with “online/electronic catalog”, which could as well refer to Sears or Amazon–or a college catalog of courses. No matter what, the idea of “search engine(s)” clearly rules in Google Books and by extension–theoretically of course–also in the minds of the public.

For instance, “search engines” seems to be paired very often with “search engine optimization” which is a very popular topic because it makes money.

I tried similar searches in Google Trends–not with so many variants–and found this:
The only terms that made a showing were “search engine” and “OPAC”. Interesting that “OPAC” has been so steady. And the incidence of “search engine” has dropped dramatically since 2004. I wonder what is taking its place? Linked data? Social search? I can’t find anything in Google Trends.



One Comment

  1. I wonder if perhaps the issue is not necessarily the word but what the word represents in the majority of minds in society. Too often I have witnessed the misconception that the Web IS Google and Google IS the only search engine. For example, you no longer search for things – you google them. Perhaps the OPAC has maintained its place is because it is specifically related to libraries and Google,

    March 11, 2013

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