Tuesday, May 30, 2017

J. Edgar - the movie

I learned from reading The Card Catalog that former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover not only once worked in the Library of Congress, but that he applied what he learned there (from helping to organize the card catalog) in his work at the Bureau. I was even more interested though that he attempted to use his insider knowledge of this Great Library in order to impress at least one woman. In one early scene of the film "Edgar" (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) takes Helen Gandy (Naomi Watts) on a date to the Library and demonstrates how speedily he can find a book using the wonderful cataloging system he helped to arrange. While he doesn't manage to win the lady's hand , he does convince her to become his private secretary. Together they created a special system of filing at his Bureau office that kept his private file, well, private. To this day no one knows what was in them. I was intrigued that he used a system originally intended to help people find things in order to create a system that did just the opposite.

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