From Scroll... to Codex... and Back Again

Usha Agarwal-Hollands, Richard Andrews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this paper is to examine the use of the scroll metaphor in the electronic context and to explore new ways of using computing capabilities to convert this extremely basic linear narrative device into an effective navigation tool. At the same time, implications of different kinds of scrolling for reading and the teaching of reading are explored, with comparisons made to reading codex books. The paper looks at the scroll in a historical context. It also outlines the functional limitations of the traditional scroll, and discusses whether information design—which was incorporated in codex books, making them a universally easy interface to teach, understand and use—can now be used in electronic documents, adding functionality to scrolling. Finally, it attempts to create a firm, working association between scroll and hypertext in order to improve usability; and ask questions about the impact of scrolling on the reading process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-73
Number of pages15
JournalEducation, Communication & Information
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Cite this