The New York Public Library has a Christmas / solstice / holiday / rainy day present for us: questions asked of reference librarians in the days before The Google.
Recently some folks at the New York Public Library discovered a box containing old reference questions from the 1940s to 1980s. They’ll be posting the questions to their Instagram account on Mondays (starting today), but have shared a bunch with us today, noting, “we were Google before Google existed.”
I love it when people discover a box containing treasure.
- What did women use for shopping backs before paper bags?
- Are black widow spiders more harmful dead or alive?
- Is it proper to go to Reno alone to get a divorce? (1945)
- Are Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates the same person?
- Can NYPL recommend a good forger?
I’ll pause a moment to let us all catch our breath.
- Does the Bible have a copyright?
- What percentage of all bathtubs in the world are in the US?
- Can you tell me the thickness of a US Postage stamp with the glue on it? Answer: We cannot get this answer quickly. Perhaps try the Postal Service. Response: This is the Postal Service.
- What does it mean when you dream of being chased by an elephant?
- How do you put up wallpaper?
They should get the forger to put up the wallpaper.