Card catalogs had their own elegant standardized handwriting

Behold Library Hand, a font designed specifically for librarians without typewriters who created cards for card catalogs. What's cool is the variation within the guidelines:

Via Ella Morton :

Since the aim was legibility, not haste, library hand wasn’t so speedy to execute—but the pace depended on the scribe. Dewey conducted a test in which four cataloguers wrote the Lord’s Prayer in both “catalog hand” and their standard note-taking hand. One cataloguer took three-and-a-half minutes in note-taking hand and almost 12 minutes in catalog hand. But another took three-and-a-half minutes in note-taking hand and four-and-a-half minutes in catalog hand. And the time saved among librarians who had previously mistaken 3s for 5s was priceless.

It came in disjoined (print) and joined (cursive).

Library Hand, the Fastidiously Neat Penmanship Style Made for Card Catalogs (Atlas Obscura)

Start the discussion at bbs.boingboing.net