From the Sydney Morning Herald
Researchers from the Australian National University’s literature school will launch [database is now live] this week the new Australian Common Reader website, giving a historical snapshot of the nation’s reading habits drawn from what the university says is the world’s largest database of library borrowing records.
The records show borrowing habits – not catalogued books – from six Australian libraries between 1861 and 1928, not including the state libraries of Sydney and Melbourne.
The most popular book for women was On the wings of the wind by Anne Adaliza Puddicombe. Writing under the male pen name of Allen Raine, her native Wales featured in the best-selling romantic fiction.
The most popular publication for men was Household Words, a weekly magazine edited by Charles Dickens which included short stories and journalism aimed at the working class.
Direct to Australian Common Reader Database