The stupidest questions submitted to libraries before the internet


Imagine living in a world without Google or Wikipedia. How on earth would you find out what the capital of Djibouti is or how long Pat Sharp presented Fun House for?

Ask a wise looking man with an incredibly long beard?

Yes, but if the man didn't know the answer to your question then the next place you'd ask would have been a library (remember those?).

And it turns out that people were just as keen to ask stupid/odd questions in the old days as they are now. In 2014, the New York Public Library found a hefty file full of questions submitted to them by the curious public. The library has been sharing photos of the questions on Instagram under #letmelibrarianthatforyou.

While some of them are fairly run of the mill, others seem like they may have been sent in by the olden day’s equivalent of Dom Joly.

Here are some of the best: