Researching African-American History

Harlem Renaissance artist Archibald J. Motley Jr.'s Black Belt, 1934
Black Belt, 1934 by Harlem Renaissance artist Archibald J. Motley Jr.

February is Black History Month, making it an excellent time to highlight some of the many resources in our collection related to African-American history, including some lesser known items like subject dictionaries and online videos.  Continue reading

The Power of Hashtags

Twitter gave new meaning to the lowly pound sign, enabling people across the globe to engage in conversations.
Twitter gave new meaning to the pound sign, enabling people across the globe to easily engage in conversations on the topic of their choice.

We use the pound or number sign (#) for numbers, on phones, or when we play tic, tac, toe. But the pound sign was not considered an important symbol in our lives until Chris Messina decided to use it as a way for groups of people to discuss topics without getting lost in the chaos of messages. That was in 2007. Soon after, Twitter adopted the hashtag system and turned the pound sign into a code so that any word prepended with a hash automatically becomes hyperlinked1. The newly coined “hashtag” quickly caught on and has since been implemented by Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest and many other social networks. You can even Google a hashtag to see posts across different social media platforms. Continue reading