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This Is How People Asked Embarrassing Questions Before The Internet

Welcome to the New York Public Library's vault of strange questions. H/T Gothamist.

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When confused patrons couldn't find what they were looking for in books, they'd often ask the librarians.

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People-2-people connecting.

At the New York Public Library, each query was written down on an index card and filed away.

nypl.org

From 1940 to 1980, the library kept track of questions with a paper file. Recently, that old box of questions was rediscovered.

"We found an old recipe box while cleaning out a desk, and it was labeled 'Interesting Reference Questions,' the contents of which ranged from total stumpers to funny mispronunciations," the NYPL Instagram says.

BTW: The answer is zero years. YOU DIE WITHOUT THE LIFE-GIVING INFLUENCE OF A MAN.

“In a world pre-Google,” reads a caption on NYPL’s Instagram, “librarians weren’t just Wikipedia, they were people’s Craiglist, Pinterest, Etsy, and Instagram all rolled into one.”

gothamist.com

The NYPL's Instagram will unveil some of its favorite queries every Monday with the hashtag #LetMeLibrarianThatForYou.

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