Definition of card index in English:

card index


  • A catalogue or similar collection of information in which each item is entered on a separate card and the cards are arranged in a particular order, typically alphabetical.

    • ‘The basis for my scepticism was that, when I cross-checked the photographic collection in the Battye Library the card index simply identifies it as a photo of a Forrest River Aborigine in traditional dress playing with his dog.’
    • ‘A card index of every single member since 1903 follows their progress through school and into employment, a practice which is continued today.’
    • ‘Seetzen's work in Aachen, which included the stipulation to his subordinates that a card index system be employed to keep track of every interrogation the office conducted, was a complete success in the estimation of his superiors.’
    • ‘The sentences are fragmentary; it reads like a linearised hypertext, like a card index of his life taken from its box and shuffled.’
    • ‘There must be a special register, in the form of a bound book (a card index will not suffice) for controlled drugs in Schedules 1 and 2 of the 1985 Regulations.’
    • ‘The only comprehensive register is a card index in National Archives at Kew.’
    • ‘He kept a card index of all his students and remembered and kept in contact with many of them and monitored their subsequent progress.’
    • ‘This began as a card index and evolved into abstract journals.’
    • ‘Long before the perestroika began, Krayushkin had been quietly filling a separate card index with materials about writers, actors and artists who had been arrested or shot.’
    • ‘The Files Commission was allowed access to Interior Ministry archives on Wednesday, and established that the documents it had obtained from the card index of the Interior Ministry were authentic, said Andreev.’
    • ‘As an intelligence officer in Cairo in 1941 I had him on my card index of German officers in the Afrika Korps and tracked down in Cairo University library his book on the Western Desert.’
    • ‘His most successful and profitable invention was the visible card index system he patented in 1913.’
    • ‘‘Should be a bit of an opener looking in a card index,’ said the librarian as she searched for information about a quarry in Coles Bay in the late 1800's.’
    • ‘The simplest method for indexing smokers' medical records is to tag electronic records with one of the smoking status Read codes, but non-computerised general practices could use a simple card index.’
    • ‘Tom shifted papers on his desk, looked in a drawer, pulled open a card index, scratched his head.’
    • ‘As one of them left the building, he picked up, at random, a card index which turned out to contain a list of all the Gestapo's Danish helpers.’
    • ‘I look up my mental card index and it's completely blank.’
    • ‘Helen Dunmore has gone for historical territory before, with The Siege, and here again what is impressive is how she manages to evade the betraying shadow of the card index, which so often plagues the historical novel.’
    • ‘My card index is arranged by song title and records the number of times Sharp collected each song in date order.’
    • ‘Klinger's editorial powers cover Holmes's obsessions, his addictions and even his card index system.’


  • [with object] List on a card index.


card index