WELCOME to the latest issue of RED letter.
We have some very good and important news to impart in this issue – on 19th December 2005 we heard that RED had been awarded a major grant of £292,108 by the Arts and Humanities Research Council for an intensive period of development over the next three years, focussing on records from the period 1800-1945. This means that we should be able to carry out our plan to launch RED on the web at the end of 2006, and if all goes well by the end of 2009 we should have upwards of 25,000 entries in the database. We will shortly be appointing two full-time three-year postdoctoral Research Fellows, one based in the Literature Department at the Open University, and the other in the School of Advanced Study, University of London. The two Fellows will devote their time to collecting and inputting new data with the help of some part-time assistants, and also to gearing RED up for the web launch, disseminating findings via conferences and publications, and planning for a major international conference on reading to be held in 2009.
In addition to this exciting new development, the RED team continues to develop in its own individual ways. On January 1st Simon Eliot moved from the University of Reading to a new appointment as Chair of the History of the Book at the Institute of English Studies, University of London, where he will also be General Editor of a new 4-volume History of Oxford University Press. In the late summer of 2005 Stephen Colclough moved from the University of Reading to the University of Wales, Bangor. Both will, however, continue to be part of the RED team and to play active roles in this new phase of development, Simon as Project Supervisor at the University of London, overseeing the work of the new Fellow based there, and Stephen as a key member of the management team.
The inputting of data by external researchers has continued apace since our last newsletter, thanks to RED’s increasing international profile and the dedication of our many supporters, and one of the first tasks of our new Research Fellows will be to edit, check and verify these entries prior to their introduction into the database proper. There will also soon be a major overhaul of the online input forms, in line with the export to our new system and the useful feedback we have been receiving from researchers. It promises to be a busy and productive 2006 for RED!