As/Is·Posted on Dec 23, 2014This Is How People Asked Embarrassing Questions Before The InternetWelcome to the New York Public Library's vault of strange questions. H/T Gothamist.by Julie GersteinBuzzFeed StaffFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink A long time ago, before the internet's glorious tubes brought us all the cats and boobs we could ever want, people used to go to the library for info. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF gif-database.tumblr.com Um, ~crazy~. When confused patrons couldn't find what they were looking for in books, they'd often ask the librarians. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com 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. Some were serious. nypl.org Some were...not. nypl.org Some are oddly still very prescient. New York Public Library / Via Instagram: @nypl Who is this rich mystery man we'd all like to meet, BTW? A few other mysterious queries: How about "Can mice throw up?" Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF wifflegif.com "What percentage of all bathtubs in the world are in the U.S.?" Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF giphy.com And "What does it mean when you dream of being chased by an elephant?" Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF “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.