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Popularity Contest: A Look Back @ 2K16

Watson Library pencils

Watson's most-commented-upon Instagram post from 2016. Photo by the author

Watson Library continued to expand its online presence in 2016. Our Digital Collections received more than one million pageviews for the third year in a row, we made a bunch of new "friends" on Facebook, our Pinterest board became the largest of all Met boards, and we completely redesigned our online catalog, Watsonline. The library's Instagram account also took off, doubling the number of followers in a single year. So much happened online that you surely missed some of it, but fear not! I'll recap the highlights here.

Card catalogs

Watson's most popular Instagram post of 2016, which is an image taken from an In Circulation blog post, "Cabinet Fever," by Dana Hart

Our most liked Instagram post of 2016 was this gorgeous shot of the Central Catalogue's Main Catalogue. The image was borrowed from a wonderfully titled In Circulation post, "Cabinet Fever," by Dana Hart. In it she explores several of the card catalogues that still exist throughout the Museum today. This is one of several successful instances in which we repurposed our content from one online platform to another.

Small book

Watson's second most popular Instagram post. Photo (and hand modeling) by Jill Kehoe

In 2016 we also discovered that people really, really like when librarian Jill Kehoe holds small books (see this one as well). In the above she's holding Le Calendrier de la Cour, an official 1784 French court calendar from our special collections.

In addition to Instagram being a good way to highlight our special collections, it also helps give people a behind-the-scenes look at our Book Conservation department. Seth Persons has done a series of posts on book conservation, which included the image below of a vacuum attachment designed and built 10 years ago by Museum Librarian for Preservation Mindell Dubansky to help deal with dust accumulation on fragile books. "Because the coarse bristles on commercial vacuum heads can easily cause damage, she crafted this out of extra soft, bamboo-handled brushes glued to a styrofoam cube that could be attached to the vacuum hose."

Book vacuum

Part of a series of Instagram posts that focus on our Book Conservation department. Photo by Seth Persons

As previously mentioned, we also have the largest "board" on The Met's Pinterest account. Each week we post different images, all taken exclusively from our ever-growing Digital Collections. One popular pin is the below image from our Japanese Illustrated Books Collection.

Japanese illustrations

From Twenty-six Prints Constituting an Album. Tokyo: Takekawa Unokichi, 武川卯之吉, 1887–90.

Fashion plates are also extremely popular on our Pinterest board, and the one below was the most popular from 2016. It turns out they also make for an exciting blog post, and our most popular In Circulation post of 2016 by far was one about our Costume Institute Fashion Plates Collection, "Sometimes Strange, Sometimes Humorous, but Always Beautiful."

Fashion plates

Our most popular pin from 2016. From Pictorial Review. New York, N.Y.: Pictorial Review Co, March 1925. Gift of Woodman Thompson

Related Links
In Circulation: William Blueher, "Sometimes Strange, Sometimes Humorous, but Always Beautiful" (November 16, 2016)

In Circulation: William Blueher, "2015, We Hardly Knew Ye" (January 6, 2016)

In Circulation: Dana Hart, "Cabinet Fever" (December 24, 2014)

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