Readux supports the annotation of books in its digital collections. Annotations can include formatted text as well as images, and may target highlighted text as well as sections of a page, enabling the annotation of the rich images and music many Readux volumes feature.
To annotate volumes in Readux, first log in to the site through your social media account with Google, Github, Facebook, or Twitter. Once you are logged in, pages of any volume with page-level access (identifiable by the “Read Online” button) can be annotated. To add an annotation, simply highlight text or draw a box around a region of the page and enter the annotation into the dialog box that appears. Text can be formatted using the toolbar in the annotation window or by using the Markdown format. Notes can also include images, but Readux itself does not host uploaded images; you should instead embed images that you have hosted elsewhere. It is your responsibility to verify that you are authorized to use images in Readux annotations. You can also add tags to categorize or prioritize your notes. All annotations are private, visible only to you and to Readux administrators who need to access them for management purposes. When you are logged in, you will see a count of the notes you have added to each volume and each page.
Annotations in Readux are designed to support the production of digital critical editions, but the feature can also serve additional purposes. Annotations offer users a way to take notes on a volume and provide instructors with a method of fostering students’ engagement with primary sources. Future versions of Readux will enable a user to export a volume with its set of annotations as a web-browsable digital critical edition. Readux editions offer a new way to access critically edited texts in which the digitized page images take center stage—an innovative contribution to the landscape of digital scholarly edition tools which typically foreground TEI-encoded text in the browsing experience. In Readux editions users browse the book’s digitized pages, search OCR text, and read annotations offering context and analysis, a multi-layered experience ideal for books featuring rich illustrations, music, or other features best displayed in facsimile.
Readux team member Jesse P. Karlsberg is editing a digital critical edition of Original Sacred Harp (1911), a popular shape-note tunebook, as a leading use case of the tool’s annotation and edition publishing functionality.