ATG Quirkies: From the “weird reference questions” file at the New York Public Library

 

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Hilarious Questions Posed to the NYPL Pre-Internet  reminds us that “our curiosity as humans didn’t start with the invention of the search engine.” It then goes on to point out that library Reference Departments once helped satisfy that curiosity by maintaining files of previously asked, and often “quirky,” questions. It recounts a recent discovery at the New York Public Library where the staff “stumbled upon a box of some … old reference questions, with dates ranging from the 1940s to 1983 (and a particular concentration of questions from the ’40s and ’60s).

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