Exploring Jisc MediaHub – December’s Most Popular

This is the second post looking at your most popular search terms, items and subjects that people have been browsing and searching on in Jisc MediaHub. Using the Most Popular Explore option we have taken a closer look at the most popular items during December. It is great to see that all the items are completely different from what was most popular back in October.  Here are some of the highlights of last month’s most popular.

Image of the Jisc MediaHub Most Popular page from 17th January 2014r 2

Jisc MediaHub’s “Most Popular� page, captured on Friday 17th January 2014.

Nelson Mandela

Unsurprising the most popular item was a report on Nelson Mandela in which he admits ANC tortured rebels. This is taken from ITN back in 1990. Take a look at our blog post in tribute to Nelson Mandela.

World troubles – Iraq (Baghdad), Kosovo, famine, Hiroshima

The theme of world troubles is very dominant and of course pertinent. Iraqi refugees, Iraq progress, Hiroshima, Kosovo and famine are all in the top ten most popular searches. Popular items include two images from the Iraq War: a Getty still image of the aftermath of a car bomb exploding in Baghdad (ninth most popular) and an image of the presidential palace compound in Baghdad 21 March 2003 covered in smoke during a massive US-led air raid on the Iraqi capital (the sixth most popular).

Image of smoke billowing from the presidential palace compound in Baghdad 21 March 2003 during a massive US-led air raid on the Iraqi capital.

Iraq-US-War. Getty (Still Images), 2003.

Christmas shopping

One very timely theme is Christmas shopping. There are two news items on this subject – one from 1970 and one from 1991, and it’s great to be able to compare the two. In 1991 the recession is hitting Christmas Shopping, whereas in 1970 shops were looking forward to another bumper shopping spree in the run up to Christmas, even though prices had gone up a lot since the previous Christmas.

Image taken from an ITN news report showing a shop assistant demonstrating toys to shoppers in 1970

Christmas Shopping. ITV Late Evening News, 1970.

It is interesting to note that in both films shoppers are asked the same question “Are you spending more this year than last year?â€�, with people in the main answering “yesâ€� in 1970 and “noâ€� in 1991! We think some of the 1970s clip’s popularity might be down to Huddersfield New College as library staff tweeted festive highlights (see an example below) in the run-up to Christmas. We love to see you sharing your own highlights from Jisc MediaHub like this and trying to reshare and retweet them, so do let us know if you are doing something similar!

Image taken of a tweet sent by HNC Library (@HNCLib), sent 10th December 2013.

Tweet from Huddersfield New College Library. HNC Library, 2013.

Also, staying with the Christmas theme, the fifth most popular item is ‘Poster Opera dei Pupi_18’, a Christmas poster with the nativity of the “Opera dei Pupi” Sicilian puppets theatre with information about the content and scenes of the performance. “The Opera dei pupi” is the Napoli family run Puppets theatre. We are not sure why this poster in particular has proved so popular, so it would be great to hear if you have used it and why.

Image of a Christmas poster with nativity of the "Opera dei Pupi" Sicilian puppets theatre created in 1985.

Poster Opera dei Pupi_18. GovEd Communications (Francesco Troina), 1985.

The Arts

Another clear theme is the Arts. Dali, poster, drawing, painting, fine arts and the Government Art Collection are all popular items and searches. The news item from ITN’s News at Ten on voting for the Professor of Poetry at Oxford University for 1973-1978 gives a fascinating insight into the process and why the candidates wanted to be elected. Something that is particularly interesting is the student’s candid thoughts on the Undergraduate’s attitudes to the Professorship shown at the end of the news report!

Another popular search term is ‘design centre poster’. There are a number of posters in Jisc MediaHub that have been used to promote the exhibition at the Design Centre,Council of Industrial Design 28 Haymarket London SW1. These are taken from the Design Council Archives/University of Brighton Design Archives, which provide great examples of British design and its manufacture over the years.

Poster of to promote exhibition at Design Centre. Text: The DESIGN CENTRE, Council of Industrial Design, 28 Haymarket, London SW1. Mon-Sat 9.30-5.30, Wed and Thurs to 9. Free. Created 2008.

The Design Centre. Design Council Archives/ University of Brighton Design Archives, 2008.

Hunterian items

The most popular subject searched over the last 30 days is ‘Hunterian items’, which is the collection of objects found via Culture Grid and contributed by the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Glasgow. This collection includes still images of minerals, prints, and plaster casts, so it is a very wide-ranging collection.

Image showing the Jisc MediaHub’s “Hunterian items� search results page, captured on Friday 17th January 2014. 2013

Jisc MediaHub’s “Hunterian items� results page, captured on Friday 17th January 2014

Camille Saint-Saëns’ Dance macabre

The fourth most popular item is a recording of Camille Saint-Saëns’ Dance macabre. Op 40 by the New Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra, conducter Paul Rostand, recorded in Paris in 1983. This is taken from the Culverhouse Classical Music Collection, and reminds us that, as well as moving and still images, Jisc MediaHub contains a great collection of audio recordings.  This item is a wonderful piece of music written in 1874 by the French composer. Again, it is not apparent why this particular recording has proved so popular, so any ideas or explanations would be great.

Lambeth Landmarks Collection

This collection via the Culture Grid and is the second most popular subject searched – with the location ‘World, Europe, United Kingdom, England, Greater London, London, Lambeth’ being the third most popular subject.  Items in this collection have been contributed by Lambeth Libraries. There must have been some local history study on this particular area of London during December!

Image of Stockwell war memorial. Built in 1922 as a clock tower and memorial to those who died in World War One.

Stockwell war memorial. Lambeth Libraries, 1925.

Snow Leopard

We had to include this wonderful still image of a snow leopard (Panthera unica) running over snow (blurred motion), which is the seventh most popular item and is very much in-keeping with the season.

Still image of a snow leopard (Panthera unica) running over snow (blurred motion).

Snow leopard (Panthera unica) running over snow (blurred motion). Getty Still Images, 2005.

India in 1945

Another item we had to include is ‘Reel 3 – Kashmir No 3′, a fascinating amateur silent colour film shot by Lady Eleanor James in various provinces of India, circa 1945, and is the second most popular item in December. It really shows what life was like in this part of India at that time. Look at these very impressive tall figures in the still below!

Image showing three large figures, taken from an amateur silent film of various parts of India circa 1945.

Reel 3 – Kashmir No 3. Imperial War Museum, c1945.

As you can see from the highlights above there is a diverse range of subjects and types of materials, including still images, sound recordings and news items, and that the time of year and recent news events make a real impact on what is searched for. It is really interesting to explore how the most popular search terms, items and subjects change each month, and it’s great to see such a difference from October’s most popular.

We’ll be keeping an eye on what proves popular during the next 30 days but if you would like a closer look at what people have been searching for and viewing, just take a look at the Most Popular page on Jisc MediaHub. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on why some of these items are popular – just let us know in the comments below or share your theories on Twitter with the hashtag #MediaHubTop10.

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