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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers


How to search:

RED can be searched in two ways. By using the basic search option you can search for specific keywords or phrases across all text fields of the database. Alternatively, by using the advanced search options you can perform a more targeted search by entering terms or selecting values from as many fields as necessary.

Before searching the database, you might find it useful to take a look at the ways in which others have conducted searches and used the evidence to build their knowledge about reading in the past. Or, you might like to try one of our web tutorials, which will guide you through searches that might be relevant to your inquiry. All these resources can be found on our explore page.

For further information and searching tips, please visit our FAQs page. If you encounter any recurring technical problems, wish to provide feedback, or notice an error in our data, please contact us.

Basic Search:

This searches all text fields including evidence

Advanced Search:

(To search for words contained in the evidence of the reading experience only. For further clarification, please visit our FAQs page.)

Reader / Listener / Reading Group:


Text Being Read

Choose as many below as appropriate

Choose as many below as appropriate OR select : Any Print

Choose as many below as appropriate OR select : Any Manuscript

e.g year, edition, publisher, translation





This search will give you records that match all the text you enter here and the check boxes you tick; for example, if you a) enter "london" in County, enter "high street" in "other places" and tick b) "Specific address" and c) "Other location", only records that have "london" in County and "high street" in both "specific address" and "other location" will be listed in the results page (which probably will be none).

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