Twitter is a fun and interesting place to find a conversation. You can find the Kirkwood library there at @KirkwoodSmart. (There are also trolls although I’ve had people say worse things to me on Facebook.) But Twitter does have its problems. One of these are the historic photo tweet feeds.
Some of these chronic offenders just take images that don’t belong to them and post them without verification, without credit, and without context. They can be used to spread mis-information and at the very least take attention and money away from the owners of the images and interesting information away from YOU!
When exactly is an image from? What was really going on there? Why was it taken and most importantly, did Theodore Roosevelt ever really ride a moose? (You may be cool, but you’ll NEVER be Teddy Roosevelt riding a moose across a river cool. — OK that line which I love is actually from an uncredited meme, but it’s true!)
The Problem with Feeds
Historian Alexis Cole explains in her article what’s bad about these feeds and how they could be made much better. So what can we do about them?
Feeds to Unfollow
Even if you love finding interesting feeds of photos stop helping these feeds. If enough people unfollow they’ll go away leaving more room for legitimate sites. So go to your Twitter account right now and unfollow:
@HistoryinPics, @HistoricalPics, @HistoryInPix, @historylvrsclub
There are others but those are some of the biggest offenders.
Feeds to Take Their Place
But if you like old, cool stuff online never fear we have your back. Cole recommends following these accounts instead (and yes the University of Iowa suggestion was hers, I just moved it to the top).
Other Cool Old Stuff Feeds
I personally would also suggest:
(this is only one of several great the Henry Ford Benson Library accounts – find and follow them all!)
And sadly no, as far as we know Teddy never did ride a moose and that definitely isn’t a real image. But kudos to the newspaper team behind the September 8, 1912 New York Tribune for putting that out into the world. Heather Cole, curator of Harvard’s Theodore Roosevelt collection, tells you the real story.
Sarah Uthoff is a reference library at Kirkwood Community College. LIKE the Kirkwood Community College Library on Facebook and find links to Sarah all over the web at her About Me Profile.