Category: From the Reference Desk

SF Chronicle

From the Reference Desk: The San Francisco Chronicle Encourages You To “Die Now”

Notice found in an issue of the San Francisco Chronicle, dated March 27, 1867: “Worthy of Note. Persons contemplating dying soon are remined that the present times are favorable towards the securing of a respectable crowd of mourners. This is mainly owing to the fact that the Central R.R. Company charge but one fare to the Lone Mountain cemetery. Hence,…

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Hansard

Challenging Reference Question: Searching Hansards and British Parliamentary Papers

Here was a challenging reference question I received at the Young Research Library reference desk that was ultimately solved by a couple of my colleagues. A patron was looking for a transcript of a debate that took place in the British Parliament in 1937 about, as the patron asked, whether any black representatives would be able to (allowed to?) attend…

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From the Reference Desk

Famous Last (Presidential) Words The following quotes are allegedly the last recorded words of several Presidents before they died: John Adams: “Thomas Jefferson still survives.” Franklin D. Roosevelt: “I have a terrible headache.” Theodore Roosevelt: “Please put out the light.” James Madison: “I always talk better lying down.” Warren G. Harding: “That’s good. Go on, read some more.” Millard Fillmore:…

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From the Reference Desk

The beauty of working at a reference desk is that I have access to all kinds of information, and I can easily grab a reference book at random and review it. Today I pulled off the shelf The Illustrated Book of World Rankings. (5th ed. Kurian. Edited by George Thomas. Armonk: Sharpe, 2001). It ranks the world’s countries according to…

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