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RED Project

The Reading Experience Database (RED), 1450–1945

What is a ‘Reading Experience’?

We are aware that ‘reading’ can mean many things, from reading a book aloud or silently, to the critical ‘reading’ of a text (including dramatic and cinematic texts) in an academic sense, or (metaphorically) ‘reading’ a face, a social situation, or the symbolic value of a text. But in the interests of clarity and manageability we have had to exclude certain of these ‘reading experiences’ as outside our remit. For our purposes, a ‘reading experience’ means a recorded engagement with a written or printed text—beyond the mere fact of possession. A database containing as much information as possible about what British people read, where and when they read it and what they thought of it will form an invaluable resource for researchers of book history, cultural studies, sociology and family history, to name but a few. To find out what we’re looking for, and what we don’t include, please follow this link.

'A Father's Legacy to his Daughters', by the late Dr Gregory of Edinburgh (1831)
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