This is the fourth post looking at the most popular search terms, items and subjects that people have been browsing and searching on in Jisc MediaHub. Clicking through to the ‘Most Popular’ page allows you to take a closer look at the most recent popular items, searches and subjects. Here is a selection from the previous month (September 2014).
As well as the more general subjects of ‘sport’ and ‘football’, you can see that the more specific search on ‘St Helen’s Rugby League Challenge Cup Final 1961’ was particularly popular. This final was played at Wembley, where St. Helen’s beat Wigan 12-6. It is unclear why the 1961 Cup Final in particular has been so popular, so if anyone has an idea please let us know!
I particularly like this Rugby League Cup Final poster from an earlier year, 1934, which was designed for Transport for London and can be found on the Exploring 20th Century London website.
The First World War
‘Britain’s Effort‘ is the most popular item viewed in Jisc MediaHub last month. For more details on this wonderful cartoon take a look at last October’s Most Popular blog post! Also proving very popular is the search for ‘First World War cinema’. During the First World War (1914-1918) the popularity of cinemas grew quickly, along with cinema stars such as Charlie Chaplin. However, the war also had a negative impact on cinemas, with many being damaged or destroyed here in the UK and over on the continent. Below is an image taken on the 9th October 1918 showing some men of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in the wrecked interior of a German cinema in Cambrai. This item is part of the Imperial War Museum’s First World War Collection available via the Culture Grid.
Another popular item is a short report from Gaumont Graphic created in 1929 entitled ‘In Memory of the Victims of War‘, which shows a memorial service held in Berlin for the victims of the First World War.
Logic and Ethics
Not only do people search for people, things, events in Jisc MediaHub, but they also search for concepts and systems such as ‘logic’ (8th most popular subject this month) and ‘ethics’. If you carry out a search on the subject ‘logic’ you get back programmes from the Logic Lane series in Jisc MediaHub. This is a series of films tracing the development of philosophy at Oxford University from the 1930s to the early 1970s, featuring eminent figures such as Sir Alfred Ayer, Bernard Williams, Iris Murdoch and Sir Isaiah Berlin.
When searching under the subject ‘ethics’ many of the results are interviews from radio broadcasts. These are part of the London Broadcasting Company/Independent Radio News audio archive, consisting of 7,000 reel-to-reel tapes in a collection that runs from 1973 to the mid-1990s and relating to news and current affairs. Topics include the question of press freedom on the one hand and people’s privacy on the other, as well as sleaze in UK politics. Examples include: Princess Diana photographed in gym and one of several interviews on the Nolan Report, where he gives recommendations of his report on sleaze in UK politics.
North Sea Oil Sites
One very topical popular item is the news report on the auctioning of North Sea oil sites back in 1971, which was shown on ITV’s News at Ten. Oil and gas reserves in the North Sea was one of the issues raised as part of this year’s Scottish Referendum, which was held on the 18th September.
It is very interesting to hear about the process of auctioning oil sites, especially as it has such a bearing on Scotland’s future, particularly since the debate over oil revenues around the Scottish Independence Referendum which took place in September. The reporter in this ITV Late Evening News film says that “the North Sea can be stormy, but is politically calm“, which is of great importance to oil and gas companies. It was also reported that the Treasury was £37 million richer as a result of the sale of the plots in the North Sea.
Donald Campbell’s Bluebird Raised from Seabed
Another popular item is a news report on the raising of the wreckage of Donald Campbell’s ‘Bluebird’, which was used in an attempt by Campbell to break his own world water speed record back in 1967 in Coniston Lake. It ended in disaster when the craft somersaulted out of control, resulting in the crash and the loss of Sir Donald Campbell’s life. This short report includes an explanation of how the wreckage was brought to the surface and to the shore of the lake. ‘Bluebird’ will be restored through a volunteer-led project and shown at a local museum as a symbol of British endeavour.
Interview: Professional Shoplifter
A particularly fascinating and entertaining entry in our top ten most popular items this month is this interview with a professional shoplifter, as you don’t normally get to hear from people who shoplift for a living!
The questions asked as well as the answers are brilliant! Examples include: “What are your credentials for this job?“; “… You have spent 13 years in jail, so it might be said that you weren’t a very good shoplifter.“; and “to the petty thief it [closed circuit television] is a deterrent, but to people like myself this is a joke.”
One of the most intriguing search terms from last month is the rather enigmatic ‘holes’! One example of a search result our 8th most popular search term will find is a photograph of a coal hole during the strike of 1926, taken by Barrie Whittamore. It is great to be able to find out, by reading the description on the ‘Picture the Past‘ website, that the man in the hole is called Ernest Preston.
I particularly like the magnifying glass feature on the ‘Picture The Past’ website! We also have our own version on the Jisc MediaHub website, offered where possible. See the image below for an example.
Lal Kafir Images in Pakistan
This Lal Kafir images in Pakistan of carved men and horses, from the Royal Geographical Society is another very popular item. As you can see, it is possible to zoom in to see specific areas of the image on the Jisc MediaHub website. Of the 63,670 image records MediaHub hosts 61,903 of them are zoom-able, so there is a 97% coverage. Those which are not zoom-able are either too small or have been uploaded by users and so do not support the zoom tool.
It is also possible to see where this image was taken on a map. This feature is only available if there is specific location information for the item. Jisc MediaHub uses two types of location data:
- Coordinate based – 68,286 records have at least one geographic coordinate associated with it, of which 10,200 are considered unique locations and are visible on the ‘Explore By Place‘.
- Text based – 148,932 records have a “place” associated with them, a word rather than a coordinate, of which 129,969 have at least one country associated and the remaining 18,963 have other forms of location associated (area, city, region etc.).
Jisc MediaHub also has a “locations” crowdsourcing feature just beneath the map thumbnail of an item if it is not sure whether a particular location is correct. Users can help Jisc MediaHub improve location data associated with a record by telling us whether the suggested location is relevant e.g. ‘France International Cat Exhibition‘.
This feature was developed using the Unlock service, which enables you to extract placenames and locations from a text and turn those placenames into coordinates on the map. These locations tend to be pretty good but we know they aren’t always perfect, so the “locations” crowdsourcing feature enables Jisc MediaHub to validate these suggestions.
As you can see from the highlights above and in previous months there is always a diverse range of subjects and types of materials, but there are also some general themes that emerge. It is really interesting to explore how the most popular search terms, items and subjects change each month. You can also further explore Jisc MediaHub in other ways, such as by collection, by place, and by time.
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. We would also 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.