The card catalogue, which stands in the East Asian Reading Room, contains approximately 270,000 cards for items in classes FA-FK, CRA-CRZ and Microfilm.A-D. Chinese cards are interfiled with those in Japanese, Korean and other languages in a single alphabetical sequence.
Chinese entries are arranged in syllabic order of the Wade-Giles romanisation; conversion tables are provided for readers more familiar with the pinyin system.
The catalogue contains title cards (white) and author cards (yellow); classmarks are indicated only on the title cards.
The card catalogue includes analytical entries for cong shu which have now been superseded by the online list Cong shu in Cambridge Libraries.
Entries for Chinese books continued to be added to the card catalogue until the end of June 2000; no further additions have been made since then. Items received after that date and many received in the preceding few years (including the whole of class FM) may be found only by consulting one of the online catalogues.