The European Digital Reading Lab (EDRLab) is a digital innovation laboratory by and for the publishing industry. We are an international, non-profit development laboratory, working on the deployment of an open, interoperable and accessible digital publishing ecosystem, worldwide. We develop technology to accelerate the adoption of digital reading in different forms: text, audio and image.

A community driven approach

In our digital publishing journey, many rivers were passed and many still have to be crossed. We are many travelling this road worldwide and we face common challenges, many of them can be better addressed by working together.

There are several national efforts in Europe with projects relative to technical innovations in the digital publishing industry. EDRLab represents a trans-national effort, with a strong European presence. We believe that cross-national collaboration is key to counterbalance the dominance of big commercial players, mostly US based.

This vision animated the 9 founders of the European Digital Reading Laboratory (EDRLab) in 2015. Half of them are big publishing houses, the other half are interprofessional organisations. Since then, many other organisations joined the EDRLab, which has 64 members today, mostly from EU countries, but not only. Among them, companies specialised in authoring tools, content processing, e-readers, digital distribution, Associations, libraries and companies specialised in accessibility services, etc..

They give us a wide panel of interests in the digital book value chain. We make sure this integrates in a large spectrum of interests to help appropriation.

EDRLab mainly gets its budget from membership fees and public or private grants. Such income supports the mission of the association to develop commercial-grade open source software that advances an open interoperable ecosystem for the creation and distribution of digital content in order to foster innovation, accessibility, and a global sharing of knowledge.

Our members are currently providing the largest part of the funding.

The team is small and flexible following project needs. We are actually 6 persons, 1 chief technical officer, 2 project managers and 3 developers. A UX & UI designer works for us occasionally. Only 2 of us work full time. We have an office in Paris but most of the work is done remotely.

Work together

Our team and the community of our members work together to produce standards, documentation and modular open-source software used daily by vast user communities.

We contribute to a better ecosystem by the identification of missings tools and the diminution of frictions; we are federating the efforts of our members and partners and are building standards and tools adapted to their needs, in an intent to distribute the best benefice for everyone.

Because reading ebooks was long restricted to closed applications and because development of those are costly, we contribute to the open-source Readium toolkits and we created the free Thorium Reader, a desktop reading application used daily by thousands of people, including in library services. To handle loans we manage a non-invasive and easy to implement advanced digital rights management system called LCP DRM.

Details about our main projects can be found on our website: