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Digital Reading (applications & installations)


  • Alchemy: An Installation (Simon Biggs): a digitally illuminated Book of Hours

  • Beyond Pages (Masaki Fujihata): a virtual picture book

  • Illuminated Manuscript (David Small): “Combining physical interfaces with purely typographical information in a virtual environment, this piece explored new types of reading in tune with human perceptual abilities.”


Screen Environments

Text & Typographic Tools

Visual Text

“What is the Future of the Book in the Digital Era?” (The Book and the Computer Discussion, 1998)

“We experience a world of ever-expanding websites, CD-ROMs and other digital electronic media led by the developed industrial nations today. What will become of the paper-printed media of books in relation to the rapid evolution of this new media?

Much has been discussed about digital media in the context of multimedia and its interactive features, but not in relationship to carrying printed words and characters. If they were discussed at all, a negative outlook has been very pervasive. Is there any way we can expect a positive effect of the new media on books?

Can books only exist in the paper-printed media? Can the text be separated from paper to be reused as a book through digital media? Is such a discussion relevant to the subject of books?

What is the future of the book? This round table discussion [from the August 1998 premiere issue of The Book and the Computer: The Future of the Printed Word] invites participants from countries of different histories and cultures—Japan, France, China, Thailand and America—each facing different issues on books (such as shortage of paper, distribution, penetration of audiovisual media, literacy, etc.) to discuss the new form this durable medium may take.”


  • The Transformation of Written Culture
    Roger Chartier (France)

  • Electronic Books and Reading
    Liu Zhiming (China)

  • The New Online Book Community
    Howard Rheingold (USA)

  • Text Makes a Comeback: The Power of Words
    Ueno Chizuko (Japan)

  • The Oral Tradition in the Digital Age
    Thanes Wongyannava (Thailand) < / < /li

Public Knowledge Project

Organization formed to consider the way technology can work in conjunction with scholarship.

“The Public Knowledge Project is dedicated to exploring whether and how new technologies can be used to improve the professional and public value of scholarly research. Bringing together scholars, in a number of fields, as well as research librarians, it is investigating the social, economic, and technical issues entailed in the use of online infrastructure and knowledge management strategies to improve both the scholarly quality and public accessibility and coherence of this body of knowledge in a sustainable and globally accessible form….” The Project is creating prototype Web sites, publishing or conferencing systems, and tools that “will be used to learn more about how interface design, data architecture, and software tools affect the professional and public engagement with educational research. ”

Starter Links: The Public Knowledge Project

Annenberg Center Institute for Multimedia Literacy

This project focuses on bridging from traditional notions of literacy to audiovisual or multimedia (visual, audio) “literacy.” Its focus is on the audiovisual and on multimedia.

Memories for Life Grand Challenge Proposal

Like other recent “store your whole life digitally” initiatives (cf., Gordon Bell et al., MyLifeBits), the UK-based Memories for Life proposal foresees the need not just to store vast amounts of personal digital information but also to search and model such information. One aspect of the proposal bears on Transliteracies. Memories for Life envisions developing “detailed models of an individual’s abilities, skills, and preference by analysing his or her digital memories” and then using these models to “optimize computer systems for individuals.” For example, “a short-term challenge could be to develop a model of a user’s literacy level by analysing examples of what he or she reads and writes, and linguistically simplify web pages based on this model; this would help the 20% of the UK population with poor literacy.”