I'm interested in the academic history of creating a bibliographic reference list. The time period is early 1990s. I want to understand how former researchers have done their writing.
25 years ago in the year 1993 scientific publishing was not done with Internet but somehow else. From the history lesson it is known, that the first electronic OPAC systems were invented and they were used in many university libraries. The OPAC catalog didn't contain the fulltext article but only the bibliographic references, for example author, title and year. The technology behind the early OPAC system was perhaps a desktop IBM PC, but I'm not sure. It is also possible that no electronic OPAC was available but only the good old card based catalog. In any case, the cards were not handwritten but with a typewriter, so the user of the library were able to find the correct book in a short amount of time.
After the short introduction for explaining the general environment in the early 1990s there are some open question which I wasn't able to answer alone with literature research. So perhaps somebody has a personal experience and knows the details. The problem is, how the researcher can write his manuscript with a mix of a card based catalog and an early digital OPAC. The problem with the OPAC in that time was, that no copy & paste was possible. Suppose, I've found an interesting title on the screen, whats next? Should I write down the bibliographic reference direct in the manuscript or can I send the information to somebody else? A similar problem is given with the card catalog. Suppose, the researcher found an interesting looking entry. Probably it was not allowed to take the card out of the catalog and insert it in the own bibliographic references, so how has the researcher in that area solved the problem?
The next question is the sorting of the bibliographic references. Suppose, somebody has written down all the entries and want to insert a new entry alphabetically. What is the best practice method for doing so?