My first social media addiction was with the visual blogging platform known as Tumblr. It's focus on images drew me in. I found myself spending far too much time looking at images and looking for images to post (mostly of the vintage variety). I started the Genesee Libby Tumblr as a place to post historic images of people, places, and events that I found interesting, beautiful, and inspiring. It is the first place that I starting using the name Genesee Libby [Jenn C. Libby]. I've long been interested in pseudonyms, alter egos, and word play. This moniker was inspired by Rochester legend Pete Gruber, a saloon owner who went by the name Rattlesnake Pete because of his snake handling expertise.
Another personal Tumblr that I started around the same time is Compendium of Beasts. My friend and I were going to collaborate on a bestiary featuring his drawings and my photograms, so I started collecting images of animals to inspire us. We never finished the project but we enjoyed working on our list of animals to include. This friend recently died and I find myself drawn back to Tumblr thinking about him and his unique and wonderful perspective and sense of humor. The Felix image was his first Tumblr post and his avatar. I am sad that he's gone, but I'm grateful that he was my friend.
I ran the Visual Studies Workshop Tumblr when I worked in the Research Center from June 2012 through August 2014. I adored this eclectic collection. I attended grad school at VSW because the program focused on my three favorite mediums—photography, film, and artists' books. The Research Center archive includes all three of these, with a sizable collection of vernacular photography and rare books. One of my favorite collections housed there is the Soibelman Syndicate News Agency Collection—a diverse collection of news agency photos from the teens through the 1940s.
One of my favorite Tumblrs, which is almost exclusively 19th century photography, is Tuesday Johnson's Historical Indulgences. She posts excellent historic photographic images, and is diligent about including relevant information and provenance, including links to her sources.