Fenno-Ugrica, an online collection for materials in Uralic languages at the National Library of Finland, has reached new milestones. Since its launch in June 2013, there has been more than 250 000 downloads from this collection up to date. On Sunday, we passed by another landmark: 150 000 downloads in 2015 alone.
Is 150 000 downloads per year a lot or not? It is hard to judge due to the nature and geographically wide audience of the collection, but according to the latest statistics the total number of downloads levels to the Elektra, the service for the articles of the leading Finnish scientific journals in electronic form. Judge yourselves.
Like in the case of Elektra, the use of Fenno-Ugrica is connected with the academic year and its semesters. The majority of the web traffic is bound to happen during the academic terms and most of the downloads from Fenno-Ugrica are made in late spring and late autumn, whereas during summer months the traffic is slow.
The top country for downloads is Russia. This is understandable due to the nature of the collection – it does contain material in languages, which are spoken mainly by the Fenno-Ugric people in Russian Federation. Around 70% of all visits and downloads can be tracked to Russia, whereas Finland, German, United States of America and Brazil [sic!] are the next in the ranking. According to our interpretation, this does indicate that the Digitization Project of Kindred Langauges and the Fenno-Ugrica collection has managed to stabilize its position as a source of language material and historical sources among the native-speakers, at least in the regional centers and university cities.
However, things do not come easily. We have been active to promote our collection for the native-speaking societies, especially in VKontakte service, which is the most popular social media platform in Russia. This has ensured visibility among the audiences, which have been our targets groups, the academic societies and the great public.
The Digitization Project of Kindred Languages is about to terminate on the 31 Dec 2015. However, Kone Foundation has granted us a fund to execute the Minority Languages Project in 2016. This means that the Fenno-Ugrica collection will be further developed, but in addition to Uralic languages, we will digitize some material in Romani and Yiddish too. More news about our spin-off project will be given in early 2016 on this blog site and on the website of the National Library of Finland.