Volumes of Memories Shelved

--The card catalogue at the New York City Public Library, an institution second in size in the United States to the Library of Congress, is no more. Thursday was the last day readers could search through the 9,000 oak drawers holding 10 million dog-eared cards listing the library's 8 million volumes. They are being replaced by a computer. "Some of us feel a little sad," said librarian Ruth Carr. "Some of these cards were handwritten during the 19th Century, in an elegant script. There's something about touching cards--they smell of use, of thousands of fingerprints over the years." Copying the cards, which now fill 800 volumes, took a decade. In 1972, the library stopped recording new acquisitions on cards; instead it entered them into a computer catalogue. That information now will be copied into the new library computer system, which has been nicknamed "CATNYP"--Catalogue of the New York Public Library. The old cards will be stored. Researcher Beth Diefendorf said the cards would be thrown out after five years, but researcher Arthur Curley was not so certain. "You know libraries," he said. "We don't throw anything out."

--Sen. Jake Garn (R-Utah) experienced weightlessness in a special KC-135 flight and also learned he will be a crew member on the Feb. 20 space mission aboard the shuttle Challenger. "I was surprised," the former fighter pilot said of the early mission assignment as payload specialist. However, Garn said it fits perfectly with his Senate schedule. Garn is chairman of the subcommittee that oversees funding for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The primary purpose of the 16th shuttle mission is to launch a second tracking and data relay satellite. "When they're doing that I'll keep my hands behind me and stay out of the way," said Garn, who has volunteered to be a "guinea pig" for various medical experiments.

--Rosalynn Carter's portrait is in White House storage, waiting to be framed. The 30-by-36-inch portrait, showing the former First Lady seated, was painted by Boston artist George Augusta at Blair House last fall. The White House curator's office has tried to keep secret a description of the painting, but aides said Mrs. Carter did break tradition by posing in a short business dress, instead of an evening gown as her predecessors have. The White House Historical Assn. said that it has not yet paid for the portrait but a maximum of $20,000 is allowed for the painting, which is expected to be hung on the ground floor of the White House with the portraits of the other recent first ladies.

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