how cool is that?

Won’t you please share the moment when you first realized how unusual and significant a digital cataloging tool can be? It doesn’t have to be more than a paragraph or two.

Here’s a revelation of mine:

When I first saw what a database could do, really do, it was pointed out to me by someone else. I was showing a client how, as the result of a search, I could bring up a full literature citation, correctly formatted, accompanied by an array of new, pristine images displayed onscreen with, among other things, the page numbers where the paintings were referred to in the original newspaper article. My client said, “Do you mean that I can see all the paintings mentioned in a review when they were never illustrated in the first place?” I said, “Yes of course.” Then I looked at the screen. The article cited was from the Chicago Tribune from 1884. I realized there were no illustrations in this article—none.

I know for a fact how much human effort it took to put those images in front of us, nonetheless, it seemed like a miracle at the time. It still does. How cool is that?

I invite you all to comment on your experiences.


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