Translating, Transitioning, Transcending: Rebinding the Book for Digital Reading

This semester (Spring 2018) in Writing for the World Wide Web, we are stepping back into the history of reading and writing in order to develop innovative solutions for the problems associated with reading onscreen. Our challenge as writers for the online, networked digital environment is to engage readers who are faced with several critical obstacles - that we articulate here as TMI, tl;dr, and Tech Rage - to close, careful, "deep" reading, as well as our own difficulties in working with/in a medium that is, if no longer "new," then certainly still "immature" (per Janet Murray).

So, in this exhibit, we'd like to show you how we took a unique approach to writing for the web by exploring material from the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Collection in the University of Georgia's Special Collections Libraries. We also had the chance to visit the Digital Arts Library (also currently housed in the Special Collections Libraries) and were inspired by some of the early experiments in electronic literature and interactive narrative and video games in that collection. Our goal was to find inspiration for innovative, creative design thinking about textual form and experience.

In this exhibit, we will show you the texts that inspired us to create our own digital textual design concepts and plans. We invite you to browse through the collections herein and take a look at the texts that provoked our imaginations. But first, take a look at the pages on the right to understand the three main ideas behind this project and why we think that, in order to design the digital future, it might be necessary to think more about the past, about craft, and about the pleasure of the text.


Writing for the Web, Spring 2018