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Catalogs of the Old Republic

Abandoned Republic: Before its current incarnation as the Gap's dressier cousin, Banana Republic sold military surplus and safari-style clothing. [more inside]
posted by Metroid Baby on Aug 8, 2014 - 75 comments

I write for SkyMall

I write for SkyMall (SLTP)
posted by gottabefunky on Apr 13, 2014 - 56 comments

boom-Shack-a-lacka-lacka boom (and bust)

American electronics chain Radio Shack's dismal sales are resulting in a plan to shutter as many as 1100 of its stores. But let's look back to a happier time for the company, starting with their first catalog in 1939 and continuing through the decades: a fascinating stroll down memory lane at the Archive of Radio Shack Catalogs.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 4, 2014 - 131 comments

I still kind of want the mailman pants.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Dawson's Creek was on TV, No Doubt was on the radio, and teenage girls across America wanted every single thing in the dELiA*s catalog. Going on 20 years later, those girls are women. Women with scanners and style websites. Women who remember. [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Jan 21, 2014 - 130 comments

Peter Scott (1947-2013), developer of HyTelnet

Peter Scott (February 14, 1947 - December 30, 2013) worked in the Systems Department of the University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Canada) Libraries from 1976 to 2005. One of the early library weblog writers, Peter is most well known for HyTelnet, an interface for Telnet services he developed from 1990. In his 1991 video, Peter demonstrates a later version of HyTelnet, while an archive lists the resources available through the service. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Dec 31, 2013 - 20 comments

Pretend you're a cool ghost.

From Retronaut, please enjoy these stylish selections from the 1990 J.C. Penney Christmas Catalog. Come for the Beetlejuice pajamas, stay for the "ice-washed" denim overalls.
posted by Rock Steady on Dec 19, 2013 - 120 comments

WOLF FLIRT GLASSES

"If you've ever read a silver age comic book in your life, chances are you've seen the ad for World Wide Diamond Co., once located in windy wacky Chicago IL. And if you sent away for one of their smallish, 48-page, newsprint mail order catalogs then you absolutely uncovered a world of REAL hidden treasure!"
posted by griphus on Feb 12, 2013 - 16 comments

Ghost of Christmas Past? Pac Man just ate her.

Electronic Toys From Holidays Long Past (274 picture SL imgur gallery)
posted by radwolf76 on Dec 24, 2012 - 77 comments

What makes a toy truly “special”?

Francesco Marciuliano (writer of the comic strip Sally Forth) presents The Catalog of Unfit Toys, mixed in among many other random amusements and strange humor at the blog for his webcomic Medium Large (oh yeah, and there's a cat: cat poetry, that is - parts 1, 2, 3). [more inside]
posted by flex on Mar 19, 2011 - 9 comments

Bibliotheca Corviniana

The library of King Matthias I of Hungary, the Bibliotheca Corviniana, was "the second greatest collection of books in Europe in the Renaissance period, after that of the Vatican." Destroyed following the 15th century Turkish invasion of Hungary (despite the efforts of Matthias' vassal Vlad III the Impaler), a few surviving codices have been digitized by the National Széchényi Library and the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. [more inside]
posted by Paragon on Jan 6, 2011 - 7 comments

Catalogs of Horror

Christmas and Toy Catalogs: 1942-1992 (Warning: heinousness inside). But wait, there's more vintage Christmas advertising.
posted by bwg on Dec 19, 2010 - 35 comments

Space geeks rejoice!

Up above the world so high, what's that spacecraft in the sky? [more inside]
posted by Salvor Hardin on Sep 3, 2010 - 10 comments

So, now it goes IKEA > Beatles > Jesus?

"These are sample layouts from a fullsize reproduction of the entire 2007 IKEA catalogue, leaving only color and structure. With an estimated 175 million copies distributed in 2006, the IKEA catalogue is thought to have surpassed the Bible as the most published print-work in the world." [more inside]
posted by Miko on Jul 15, 2010 - 62 comments

The perfect lives of catalog people

A wryly humorous take on the "...exciting lives of the people who live in your catalogs." If your life isn't quite perfect enough, fear not - the secret lives of Catalog People are revealed here!
posted by dbmcd on Jun 25, 2010 - 60 comments

Biblioctopus

The Biblioctopus Catalog can be as entertaining a read as some of the rare and antiquarian books that the Beverly Hills, Calif., shop sells. An entry for a $3,300 first edition of Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea asserts that the book is “as stubbornly immortal as those plastic baby diapers that won’t biodegrade.” Although Catalog 44 was mailed earlier this month, I have only been able to find links for Catalogs 20, 22, and 34. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese on May 31, 2010 - 10 comments

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

In 1968 Stewart Brand launched an innovative publication called The Whole Earth Catalog. It was groundbreaking, enlightening, and spawned a group of later publications.The collection of that work provided on this site is not complete — and probably never will be — but it is a gift to readers who loved the CATALOG and those who are discovering it for the first time. [more inside]
posted by Nothing... and like it on Apr 20, 2010 - 41 comments

Stolen Descartes letter found at Haverford by Dutch scholar's online detective work

A letter by Rene Descartes, stolen in 1840s, recovered in 2010 by online detective work. The letter was stolen by Guglielmo Libri, inspector general of the libraries of France, who stole thousands of valuable documents and fled to England in 1848. Since 1902 it's been in the collection of Haverford College, its contents unknown to scholars, and nobody there realized that it was an unknown letter. But because they had catalogued it and recently put their catalogue on line, Dutch philosopher Erik-Jan Bos found it "during a late-night session browsing the Internet". (A Haverford undergraduate thirty years ago had translated it and written a paper on it, in which he recognized that the letter was unknown -- but nobody followed up and the letter had sat in the library since then until it was listed online.) The letter includes some last-minute edits to the Meditations, and some thoughts on God as causa sui. Haverford, whose president was a philosophy major, is returning the letter to the Institut de France.
posted by LobsterMitten on Feb 26, 2010 - 21 comments

The Encyclopedia of Life

The Encyclopedia of Life [previously] is E.O. Wilson's dream become reality. It has been online since February of 2008, aiming to catalog the currently known 1.9 million species on our planet. You can also add text, images, video, comments, and tags. [ FAQVideo IntroductionTutorials ]
posted by not_on_display on Jan 30, 2010 - 10 comments

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.

"Then there are the classification errors, which taken together can make for a kind of absurdist poetry. H.L. Mencken's The American Language is classified as Family & Relationships. A French edition of Hamlet and a Japanese edition of Madame Bovary are both classified as Antiques and Collectibles (a 1930 English edition of Flaubert's novel is classified under Physicians, which I suppose makes a bit more sense.) An edition of Moby Dick is labeled Computers; The Cat Lover's Book of Fascinating Facts falls under Technology & Engineering. And a catalog of copyright entries from the Library of Congress is listed under Drama (for a moment I wondered if maybe that one was just Google's little joke)." —Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg on Google's little metadata problem.
posted by Toekneesan on Sep 1, 2009 - 29 comments

The history of the experimentalization of life.

The Virtual Laboratory - A collection of essays, biographies, instruments and trade catalogues (e.g. experiment kit) from between 1830 and 1930. I must warn you that some of the films are a bit disturbing. Check out the eerie sounding vowel experiments in the audio section too.
posted by tellurian on Mar 2, 2009 - 9 comments

This is phenomenal.

Dave Chalmers has just launched PhilPapers, a directory of nearly 200,000 online papers in philosophy. This is a jawdropping and amazing resource for philosophical research. For evidence of the scope of this project and the care that has been given to it, see the taxonomy of philosophy that was developed for the site.
posted by painquale on Jan 28, 2009 - 28 comments

I'll take Lots 1 through 800 pz

Battlestar Galactica Auction Catalog Available for Download.
posted by troy on Dec 6, 2008 - 50 comments

Stealing Your Library

OCLC, owners of WorldCat, are getting greedy. It's now demanding that every library that uses WorldCat give control over all its catalog records to OCLC. It literally is asking libraries to put an OCLC policy notice on every book record in their catalog. It wants to own every library. It's not just Open Library that's at risk here -- LibraryThing, Zotero, even some new Wikipedia features being developed are threatened. Basically anything that uses information about books is going to be a victim of this unprecedented power[ ]grab. It's a scary thought. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 on Nov 13, 2008 - 40 comments

I See Dead People's Books

I See Dead People's Books (wiki) is an impromptu project by LibraryThing members to catalog the libraries of famous dead people, from Tupac Shakur to Ernest Hemingway to John Adams. Many more in the works, anyone is able to create a dead library with all the attendant features of LT.
posted by stbalbach on Mar 14, 2008 - 22 comments

Turn Your Bookshelves into Art

Brilliant bookshelves by color. What's that? You can't find The Scarlet Letter? Did you look under lipstick red? [more inside]
posted by thebellafonte on Mar 4, 2008 - 54 comments

1977 Penney Catalog

Strap in, shut up and hold on. We're going back. No one under 30 will really get it...
posted by Doohickie on Nov 7, 2007 - 83 comments

Buy them all and build it at home!

You got your Rube Goldberg machine in my department store catalogue. (Or the other way around, I'm not sure.)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 5, 2007 - 58 comments

Wishbook Web -- Christmas Catalogs through the 20th Century

Wishbook Web. Christmas catalogs scanned in their entirety from the 1944 Wards Catalog (152 pages) to the 1985 Sears Catalog (648 pages!). The site looks like it was built circa '97, but the scans are quite interesting. via - Similar posts to this one: 1, 2.
posted by Ufez Jones on Aug 27, 2007 - 28 comments

First public library in nation to drop Dewy Decimal

The Prelinger Library is a small privately owned "public library" in San Francisco with the unique philosophy that browsing library stacks can reveal new knowledge, if the books are arranged for browsing. This is counter to most public libraries who rely on computer terminal searching, databases and the Dewey Decimal system to atomize books and subjects, with stack browsing a sort of random after effect, and in some places--like the Library of Congress--normally not even allowed. Now a (real) public library in Arizona has joined the revolution and claims to be the first public library in the nation to drop the Dewey Decimal system. Instead, books will be shelved by topic, similar to the way bookstores arrange books. The demise of the century-old Dewey Decimal system is overdue, county librarians say: "People think of books by subject. Very few people say, 'Oh, I know Dewey by heart.' "
posted by stbalbach on Jun 10, 2007 - 84 comments

Spunk

Long un-updated, but still chalk full of anarchist theory, The Spunk Library (catalog indexes on upper right). Of possible interest to metafilter users: Maybe a "group" discussion dominated by two or three people ISN'T.
posted by serazin on Feb 11, 2007 - 57 comments

take THAT Montgomery Ward!

The Zobo! Spanish-American Chess Men! Where can you find these amazing products, including Sanitary Belt Pads the Toilet Mask, or a handy goat harness, at amazing, rockbottom prices? The Sears, Roebuck Catalog, of course. Everything you could need for the modern American family! They did houses (1, 2) even. Starting in 1888 and mostly selling watches, this venerable institution of consumerism spent its first 10 years rapidly growing and adding products, lasting for over 100 years before finally folding in 1993. The catalog still stands as a detailed historical document of what the average American would buy to get through life. They make a fun collector's item, too (1902 available on CD-ROM as well). [ This post inspired by the 1902 Sears, Roebuck Catalog blog. ]
posted by tweak on May 26, 2006 - 11 comments

The Office of Human Radiation Experiments

The Office of Human Radiation Experiments, established in March 1994, leads the Department of Energy's efforts to tell the agency's Cold War story of radiation research using human subjects. We have undertaken an intensive effort to identify and catalog relevant historical documents from DOE's 3.2 million cubic feet of records scattered across the country. Internet access to these resources is a key part of making DOE more open and responsive to the American public.
posted by Dome-O-Rama on Feb 16, 2006 - 7 comments

LibraryThing: Like Flickr for your books.

LibraryThing. Like Flickr for your books.
posted by monju_bosatsu on Sep 14, 2005 - 31 comments

Giant Robot, use rockets!

Zinc Panic is an archive of Japanese robot culture, documenting everything from the '50s to the present. From cataloging the genera of characters on shows such as Giant Robo and robography of people like Tezuka Osamu, to the latest robo news. See also Rocket Punch Go! [Via Engadget]
posted by riffola on Oct 21, 2004 - 4 comments

The Republic has no need of geniuses

Panopticon Lavoisier
posted by thatwhichfalls on Jul 30, 2004 - 6 comments

Farewell to the Whole Earth

Farewell, Whole Earth magazine? A lament at worldchanging.com: "... spawn of the amazing Whole Earth Catalogs, source of the WELL, first to mention in print the Gaia Hypothesis, the Internet, Virtual Reality, the Singularity and Burning Man (or at least so the legend goes), the place where folks like Stewart Brand, Kevin Kelly and Howard Rheingold found their voices, and where a whole generation of young commune-kid geeks like myself learned to dream weird... " [via Smart Mobs]
posted by Slagman on Jan 31, 2004 - 10 comments

Critics call Abercrombie & Fitch catalog soft porn.

Critics call Abercrombie & Fitch catalog soft porn. I can't comment on the catalog itself, since I haven't seen it; I just had to laugh out loud though when I read this sentence: "Boycott organizers contend the company... is wooing younger customers and using sex to popularize its image." Oh, the horror! Also striking was A&F's spin on it, calling it " the Norman Rockwell of 2001." Clearly, a divide in perceptions. Can anyone who has seen the offensive/inoffensive material in question explain why it is/isn't any different from the marketing practices of, oh, say, everyone else?
posted by topolino on Jun 22, 2001 - 23 comments

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