Category Archives: Social Media

Top 10 Most Popular Items of 2013

2013 has been a great year for the Digital Collections.  We got a new scanner, were interviewed about out work with Wikipedia, and created new collections like the Brummer Gallery Records. We’ve also seen a significant increase in usage over the last year, jumping from just over 135,000 pageviews in 2012 to over 500,000 in 2013!

To commemorate 2013, we’d like to share a list of the most popular items in the Digital Collections. All ten of the items come from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Publications collection.

#10 – Hatshepsut: from Queen to Pharaoh (2005).  This exhibition catalog had 1,782 pageviews.

High10#9 – Netsuke: masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1981). This collection catalog had 1,807 pageviews.

High9#8 – Painters of reality: the legacy of Leonardo and Caravaggio in Lombardy (2004). This exhibition catalog had 1,839 pageviews.

High8#7 – Pieter Bruegel the Elder: drawings and prints (2001). This exhibition catalog had 2,048 pageviews.

High7#6 – German masters of the nineteenth century: paintings and drawings from the Federal Republic of Germany (1981). This exhibition catalog had 2,713 pageviews.

High6#5 – Age of spirituality: late antique and early Christian art (1979). This exhibition catalog had 3,610 pageviews.

High5#4 – A handbook of Chinese ceramics (1988). This collection catalog had 3,800 pageviews.

High4#3 – Prints & people: a social history of printed pictures (1971). This book had 3,965 pageviews.

High3#2 – Vermeer and the Delft school (2001). This exhibition catalog had 4,562 pageviews.

High2#1 – Leonardo da Vinci: anatomical drawings from the Royal Library, Windsor Castle (1983). This exhibition catalog had 7,286 pageviews (almost 20 pageviews a day!!).

High1Thanks for helping make this such a great year for the Digital Collections, and we’ll see you in 2014!

METRO Interview on Wikipedia

In an interview with Metropolitan New York Library Council published last week, Watson Library’s William Blueher discussed how we’ve been adding links to relevant articles on Wikipedia to items in the Digital Collections.  The interview, titled “Wikipedia for Special Collections: A Conversation with Watson Library’s William Blueher,” discusses both what we’ve been doing with Wikipedia and how this initiative has helped to increase usage of the Digital Collections.


As discussed in two previous posts (here and here), Watson Library has been adding links to Wikipedia articles for just over a year.  At this point, we’ve edited over 1,500 articles (see William’s userpage to see some of the articles we’ve edited), and we’ve created a Wikipedia article “stub” on Watson Library. We’d love it if people wanted to expand on this stub, helping us flesh it out into a more robust article. As with all Wikipedia articles, everyone is free to contribute.  (See these 10 simple rules for editing on Wikipedia if you’re unsure how to start.)    

The following, excerpted from the interview, discusses the impace of this initiative:

We have been monitoring the success of this initiative by using Google Analytics. Over the last 30 days, we have had 14,898 visits to the Digital Collections.  Over the same period a year ago, we only had 4,928 visits.  This is an increase of over 200%, with nearly 10,000 more visits in a single 30-day period this year than last.

Of the 14,898 visits over the last 30 days, 57% were referred by Wikipedia (8,570), whereas a year ago, only 31% came from Wikipedia (1,552).  As we’ve put more into Wikipedia, it has referred more back out to us.

Here is a look at some of the data we see, taken from traffic to the site on November 19th:


On this particular day, Wikipedia drove over 62% of the traffic to the Digital Collections. This is just slightly higher than average, but it still illustrates the very positive impact this initiative has had on increasing usage of the Digital Collections.


Watson Library’s Facebook Page

Watson Library has started a Facebook page.  Just like our Highlights page, we post a lot of things from the Digital Collections, but we also post about other things happening throughout the library. Like this post about artist and illustrator Oliver Jeffers giving a presentation and signing autographs at Nolen Library recently:

FbJeffersOr this post about a recent orientation the Museum Research Staff Instruction Program gave for the incoming Museum Fellows:FBfellows

There are also posts like this that highlight Watson Library’s permanent collection:


 And like this, which features recently purchased special collections material:


To keep up with all that’s going on both in the Digital Collections and Watson Library, please “like” us on Facebook!


Wikipedia Case Study on Museums Association Website

As mentioned in an earlier post, William Blueher has been collaborating with an editor at Wikipedia, John Byrne, to add links to items in the Digital Collections to relevant Wikipedia articles.  This collaboration was also discussed in a recent GLAM-WIKI “case study,” co-authored by William and John, and now a similar “case study” has been published on the UK Museums Association website. This online-only article briefly discusses the collaboration between Watson Library and Wikipedia, available in the “Museum Practice” section of the website. To learn more about how Watson Library is working to both enhance Wikipedia and drive users to the Digital Collections, take a look at the article here.


Also, if you’re interested in getting a better understanding of how this collaboration works, please visit the Wikipedia user-page created by William (username: WilliamDigiCol) that illustrates the process used to add content to Wikipedia.  As you will see, William selects a text in the Digital Collections and then proposes a number of relevant Wikipedia articles to link it to.  John then looks over these proposals and suggests other relevant articles or points out potentially irrelevant ones. This page provides extensive documentation of this collaboration, and it helps to give an idea of the scope of this collaboration.  So far hundreds of Wikipedia articles have been updated with links to the Digital Collections, and as both case studies point out, this has served to greatly increase traffic to the Digital Collections (for instance, more than 50% of traffic to the Digital Collections now comes from Wikipedia).


Currently, Wikipedia is driving the most traffic to the exhibition catalog Leonardo da Vinci: anatomical drawings from the Royal Library, Windsor Castle. You can see each of the Wikipedia articles this catalog has been linked to here (there is a link in over 50 articles).


Case Study on GLAM-WIKI


Over the last six months, we have added links to our Digital Collections in hundreds of relevant Wikipedia articles.  This has been carried out in collaboration with a Wikipedia editor, John Byrne, who has provided feedback on how our digital content can most constructively be embedded in Wikipedia.  Recently, John and Watson Library’s William Blueher wrote a case study on this collaboration for GLAM-WIKI (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums), an arm of Wikimedia Outreach that aims to support “institutions who want to work with Wikimedia to produce open-access, freely-reusable content for the public.”  This case study details both what is involved in this collaboration, as well as the impact it has had on attracting users to the Digital Collections (there has been an over 500% increase in visitors since this collaboration began, for instance).  For more details about what we are doing with Wikipedia and how it has impacted traffic to the Digital Collections, I encourage you to check out the case study itself.  You can do so here.


The Digital Collections Pinterest Board

The Digital Collections has created a Pinterest board on The Met’s Pinterest page.  We have pinned over 100 of the most visually striking items from the Digital Collections, and more pins are going up each week.  The images range from fashion plates to artists’ sketches, Scottish clansmen to fine bindings.  Here are some of the highlights so far:FashionPlateBlog


This fashion plate is taken from an August 1922 issue The Dileneator, an American fashion and lifestyle magazine from the late 19th and early 20th century (for which Theodore Dreiser was briefly the managing editor).





From a facsimile edition of the book Herbs for the mediaeval household: for cooking, healing and divers uses,  the caption reads “Cleansing the scalp” and is dated 1491.






This Scotsman is from Clan MacDuff, and he is part of a series of illustrations called Clans of the Scottish Highlands, 1847.





This fine binding, from 1784, is one of over 40 similar items we have in the Digital Collections.






We have a collection of autographed letters and sketches sent to Samuel Putnam Avery from various artists, and to the right is one of the finer drawings in the collection.






There are a number of mardis gras fashion plates in the Digital Collections. If you look closely at this particular one, you’ll see penciled in beneath the dancing figure the caption “Wizard.”

These are just some of the highlights from our Pinterest board. You can follow all of the pins we are posting by going here.