RED workshop highlights

In February 2013 Wai-te-ata Press hosted a two-day history of reading workshop at Victoria University of Wellington.  Participants included academics, digital technology professionals, and postgraduate students from VUW, and visiting book historians from the University of Helsinki, Finland. Day One included a series of research presentations, and Day Two focused on discussion about the methodological and technical considerations of a Reading Experience Database.

There were many exciting challenges, opportunities and questions raised in the course of discussion. Some of these questions included:

How could a Reading Experience Database best capture a recorded reading event, which includes rich contextual information that the current UK-RED wouldn’t effectively represent?

How could a Reading Experience Database best represent several recorded instances of reading a text over time, which may come from multiple sources such as letters and diaries?

How could a Reading Experience Database best represent re-reading over time?

How could a database best represent a reading experience that is the outcome of a prior reading experience?

Much food for thought! We also discussed various possibilities for RED enhancements, such as:

  • Multi-lingual data entry
  • Geo-tagging reading experiences
  • Linking to digitised texts (both the source of the reading experience and the text being read)
  • Encouraging RED contributors to provide digital images of material held in personal collections
  • Data visualization
  • Involving students by integrating the project into curricula
  • Engaging, interactive website design

The workshop concluded with a discussion about collaborative development of a World-RED ontology.