Readux map

Project Overview

Readux makes publishing a digital edition simple.

The open-source software:

  • Allows users to pair 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 export generates a versionable, lightweight, and customizable website that pairs the source's digitized pages with selectable and searchable text as well as rich multimedia annotations.
  • Provides an annotation platform for volumes with page-level access. Annotations can include tags, related pages, and formatted text as well as images, audio, and video. They also can target highlighted text as well as sections of a page, enabling the annotation of the rich images and music that many volumes feature. 
  • Facilitates the export of annotated editions of volumes with page-level access 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 expanded to include additional content such as an introduction. All volumes may be downloaded or read in a browser as PDF documents or cited using Zotero. The volumes' text can be exported to Voyant for web-based text analysis. For many volumes, there is also page-level access that provides a page-turner reader with deep-zoom capacity.

Readux provides a platform to explore and engage with the visually rich and diverse materials digitized in Emory library collections, including 19th-century African American literature and travel guides, early Northern European emblem books, and more than 1,200 yellowback novels. The platform provides multiple layers of access to these collections including browsing, annotation, and export of digital editions.

Project Highlights

Emory Partners

Library and Information Technology Services (LITS): Software Development Team

Pitts Theology Library

Stuart A. Rose Manuscripts, Archive, and Rare Books Library

Robert W. Woodruff Library: Digitization and Digital Curation

Additional Partners Wayne State University
Funding Mellon Foundation
Project Contacts Readux website



GitHub Pages





Twitter Bootstrap

Software Developed: Readux was designed to access digitized book content is stored in a Fedora Commons repository. Custom plugins were written for annotator.js to support rich text formatting, displaying notes in the margin, and selecting and annotating portions of images. The text of volumes with page-level access has been converted from various OCR XML formats into TEI facsimile in order to provide positional text information, which is transparently overlaid on page images for selection and annotation.

Key Contributions

ECDS projects advance Emory University's mission through research, pedagogy, publishing, and public scholarship.

Research Readux facilitates deep engagement with primary source evidence and enables the publication of digital critical 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. For example, the ECDS project Sounding Spirit makes use of the Readux platform.
Pedagogy Readux can be used for teaching projects that feature close engagement with primary sources. Students can annotate texts within Readux's annotation environment and produce editions featuring these annotations for course projects.
Public Scholarship Readux facilitates public access to Emory's most significant digital collections and enables public-facing research and scholarship with these primary texts.