Prototyping the Renaissance English Knowledgebase (REKn) and Professional Reading Environment (PReE), Past, Present, and Future Concerns: A Digital Humanities Project Narrative




Siemens, Ray
Elkink, Mike
McColl, Alastair
Armstrong, Karin
Dixon, James
Saby, Angelsea
Hirsch, Brett D.
Leitch, Cara
Holmes, Martin
Haswell, Eric

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Digital Studies/Le champ numérique


The Renaissance English Knowledgebase (REKn) is an electronic knowledgebase consisting of primary and secondary materials (text, image, and audio) related to the Renaissance period. The limitations of existing tools to accurately search, navigate, and read large collections of data in many formats, coupled with the findings of our research into professional reading, led to the development of a Professional Reading Environment (PReE) to meet these needs. Both were conceived as necessary components of a prototype textual environment for an electronic scholarly edition of the Devonshire Manuscript. This article offers an overview of the development of both REKn and PReE at the Electronic Textual Cultures Laboratory (ETCL) at the University of Victoria, from proof of concept through to their current iteration, concluding with a discussion about their future adaptation, implementation, and integration with other projects and partnerships.



Renaissance, computer-human interaction, knowledgebase, professional reading, interface design, social annotations, prototyping, social networking


Siemens, R., Elkink, M., McColl, A., Armstrong, K., Dixon, J., Saby, A., … INKE. (2011). Prototyping the Renaissance English Knowledgebase (REKn) and Professional Reading Environment (PReE), past, present, and future concerns: A digital humanities project narrative. Digital Studies/Le champ numérique, 2(2).