Around March, I’ll be forgiven if I start to pay a little more attention to the genders of the people I come across in our digital book and journal collection. After all, it is Women’s History Month. But one journal I keep coming back to is Keramic Studio, a monthly ceramics magazine produced around the turn of the 20th century that we digitized a couple years ago as part of our Books Online collection. Adelaide Alsop-Robineau began the journal in 1899, and it continued to be published into the 1920s. The work featured in the early years of the journal was primarily contributed by women, including Alsop-Robineau herself, along with her co-editor Anna B. Leonard. Both women were well known ceramics painters and designers. I find myself returning to the journal and perusing the many images and illustrations, especially when I need a dose of design inspiration.
As you may already know, in addition to viewing pages from the online ”flippy book”, or BookReader, the Internet Archive (our digitization partner and the SHAC collection’s current point of access) provides versions of digitized items in a variety of file formats so that the general public can download items for use offline or on mobile devices. And while we don’t actively retain granular usage statistics from IA, we get some idea of a title’s general popularity via the download numbers displayed on each item. So, while stopping short of providing objective data about the use of SHAC materials, these stats provide a glimpse into the active lives of the digitized collection. Without further ado, I present the 5 most popular titles from the Smithsonian History, Art, and Culture digital collection: