The ACRP approaches the study of past and present cultures through the study of reading.

Based on the methods of reading history, its aim is to trace the transmission and circulation of social, political, cultural, aesthetic, and religious discourses and practices in Australia since 1788, and explore the far-reaching effects of the world’s writing on this ‘nation of readers’.

In keeping with its interest in contemporary reading, the ACRP expands conventional meanings of the term ‘reading public’ beyond consumers of print culture to include, for example, filmgoers, television viewers, web and mobile phone users, and tourists.

The ‘common reader’ is therefore re-imagined along an historical continuum from print to post-print technologies of communication, and within local, regional, national and global systems of cultural production and consumption.

The ACRP site will host:

  • a digital archive of structured and unstructured reading data, book trade data, and social and cultural data within a single searchable database; and
  • resources for general readers and specialists working in the fields of print culture studies, literary and cultural studies, and cultural history.

The ACRP is an initiative of the Australia Research Institute at Curtin University of Technology in Perth. The reading data presented here was collected and analysed with support from the Australian Research Council (DP0450454).

Contact ACRP at [email protected]

Images: The Leard family c. 1913, at "Meadulegular" Kars Springs, near Scone NSW.
Photographed by James Brindley Leard
Top L: Mary Rose Leard, Evelyn Leard | Bottom: Marjorie Leard,
Reproduced by permission of the State Library NSW (BCP 03736)