@Nikolai_Kingsley That depends a lot on how you index and cross-reference the files.
Your access speed is obviously lower, but you can still draw impressive inferences, connections, and relationships. The number of systems for this are pretty fascinating, several are covered in the Whole Earth Catalogue's "Signal" edition, notably wire-queried edge-punched cards.
Then there's Zettlekasten.
Church of the SubGenius Members-Only MastoDobbs.