Readux can export annotated editions in two formats: as a full-featured static website and as an archivable data file. The web edition displays the text's page images and contains all the text and annotation content you see within Readux. Its responsive design can be customized and and expanded to include additional content such an introduction. It is built with Jekyll and can be freely hosted at GitHub Pages. The TEI facsimile data export uses stable identifiers to permanently link annotations to granular sections of the original Readux text.
Publishing, Teaching, and Archiving
Readux makes publishing a digital edition simple. The platform uniquely pairs digitized facsimile images of a book’s pages with searchable text and multimedia annotations—a format ideally suited to teaching, research, and publishing projects where engaging with a particular primary source in its original form is important. Readux’s web export speedily generates a versionable, lightweight, and highly customizable website that pairs the source’s digitized pages with selectable and searchable text as well as rich multimedia annotations. The archival TEI export offers the potential to express the edition’s data in any of a range of formats and ensures the survival of the edition as web technologies shift.
Readux can be used to export annotated editions. The platform suits editions where the bibliographic form of the original, its typography, or design is key as well as editions projects focused on a particular printing of a text. Readux’s Jekyll/GitHub Pages approach to web publishing provides a free hosting option while also allowing publishing at your own URL, enables easy archiving, and eliminates key obstacles to sustainability such as dependency on databases or server-side scripting languages.
Readux can also be used for teaching projects that feature close engagement with primary sources. Students could work individually or collaboratively to annotate texts within Readux’s browsing and annotation environment, and then use the Readux export tool to produce a website documenting students’ annotations. The Readux interface currently only allows single-author annotated editions, but a Readux administrator can export a multi-author edition on your behalf. Since hosting is free with a GitHub account, creating a Readux edition is an affordable and innovative way for students to demonstrate engagement with primary source evidence. We're looking into improving Readux to support collaborative annotation and editions.
Readux’s TEI export can be used to create an archival copy of an annotated edition. Readux exports edition data using the widely adopted Text Encoding Initiative standard, with a large community of users and a host of available tools. The TEI export packages up the full text of the Readux volume and image references with a user's annotations and annotation references in the text, ensuring long-term access to this data and making possible its expression in a variety of forms. Indeed, Readux’s web export is actually generated from the TEI export. Readux web editions also include the TEI in the edition package.
We hope to continue to improve Readux to accommodate the variety of cases users imagine for the platform. Please contact us with questions or suggestions for how to improve Readux.
Generating a Website
To export an annotated edition, go the landing page for that volume and click on the export icon in the upper right. From the dropdown you can elect to download the TEI/XML data or generate a website. If you select the latter, you will be directed to a form allowing you to choose between downloading a zipfile of the Jekyll website or publishing via GitHub, either using the freely hosted GitHub Pages or on your own domain. To take advantage of the latter, you will need to link a GitHub account with your Readux login via the link icon in the top navigation bar.
The web export form also allows you to customize which page number in Readux you want to be the first numbered page in the export. All pages preceding the start page will be numbered separately as frontmatter, which you can customize after your export is generated. You can also enter the name of the GitHub repository which will determine the GitHub Pages URL for website.
Customizing Your Edition
- Page-turner reader
- Thumbnail page browser
- Hidden drawer sidebar for navigation
- Simple search of main text and annotations
- Navigation of annotations by tag
- Full-screen viewing of annotations
- Placeholder pages for Introductions and Credits
- Support for Zotero harvesting and sharing content on social media
In addition to design, you may want customize certain aspects of your digital edition including the page URLs, citation information, sidebar menu, and site metadata. Page URLs can be changed to match conventions specific to the content such making numerals Roman instead of Arabic. While the export provides basic metadata for Zotero harvesting, you can edit it to ensure your readers harvest citations that fully reflect your edition. You can also edit OpenGraph and Twitter metadata to set how your work is described when shared on social media. For details on how to edit specific features, see the documentation.
You do not have to use the command-line to make changes to GitHub Pages. The code repository includes a simple text editor allowing you to directly edit and publish changes to your site. For example, you can edit the markdown file introduction.md to add an introduction to your edition.