Digitization and Sexually Transmitted Disease

by Jing Liu ~ August 2nd, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized.

This was a true story happened in my work place and made everybody in the Systems laugh that afternoon. As you know, library Systems is extremely quiet, usually.

One day, I asked a system librarian to update the library’s “News and Events” and sample home page of a digitized old Chinese newspaper published in Canada. When I followed the link to the home page of the Chinese newspaper, I found something odd on that page where an image of an ad for a medical treatment of Hua Liou Bing (a sexually transmitted disease that was one of the most common diseases in early 20th century) was put in the top middle of the page. I immediately sent an email to the librarian and other project related people, told them what the image was about, and asked why you decided to put that image on the home page. No body in this group except me understands a single Chinese word. The head of Systems said “what are the chances we’d choose that one?” in his response and he could not keep himself from laughing.

Finally, the librarian responded to my email and question. He said he saw the image on every issue of the newspaper and thought it must be something that reflected the purpose of the newspaper or something important.

3 Responses to Digitization and Sexually Transmitted Disease

  1.   Mindy

    Ha ha ha! A good one. Lightened up my late afternoon shift today. See? that’s exactly why it’s so important for an employer to have somebody who knows the language in addition to the technical skills..

  2.   Heather

    You made me laugh so hard, Ian! This is going to be my favorite! Thanks for sharing!

  3.   Jing

    Wow! The ad must be pretty impressive, it made history again decades later. Fun!

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