EOED content

Much new material for the re-launched and completely re-designed EOED website has been prepared over 2017-2019. All previous content has been reviewed, updated (in some cases revised), and redistributed as appropriate under the six new main sections of the site – Quotations, Literary sources, Topics, OED editions, Historical Background, and Photos. These new sections are accessible via the top horizontal menu: click once on each heading to view a list of respective contents, or consult the Site map.

Most of the new research appears in Quotations, which discusses the fundamental evidence underlying the OED. New pages and charts in Period coverage illustrate the Dictionary’s variable treatment of periods and sources from the early stages of quotation collection up to the present, including the work now being carried out (as of 2018-2019) to create the third edition of OED. Further pages review the collection of quotations for the OED’s different stages and versions, beginning with OED1, and discuss Reading and readers. All Charts of OED data on the website have been re-made; most are new.

Literary sources explores issues arising from the Dictionary’s fondness for this genre of text, including changes over time in the literary canon, the degree to which it is or might be reasonable to assume that creative writers influence the language more generally, and the consequences of quoting from authors who were themselves enthusiastic readers of dictionaries and the OED. A new section has been opened on the OED’s treatment of individual authors, beginning with Pope and an initial stub on Shakespeare.

Examination of other features of OED’s coverage of vocabulary is housed at Topics. Currently this section reports our 18th-century Leverhulme study of the OED’s treatment of women writers, focussing on Jean Adam, Penelope Aubin, Anna Seward, and Jane Austen. Additional pages on the OED’s citation of newspapers and dictionaries are in preparation, as well as the treatment of issues of usage and correctness and of vocabulary relating to sexuality and gender.

The succession of OED instalments, editions, supplements and versions from 1884 to the present is explained and described in the updated and expanded section on OED editions.

Historical background surveys two earlier dictionaries (by Samuel Johnson, 1755, and Charles Richardson, 1836-7) which significantly influenced OED and its quotations, and considers the intellectual climate in which the first edition of OED was conceived and produced. Other pages in the same section cover principal stages and documents in OED1’s compilation and completion. A final section of Photos reproduces images relating to OED1 and to Burchfield’s Supplement.

EOED also contains a selection of Who’s who pages, a fully updated Bibliography, a Glossary of specialized terms, an expanded Library of freely downloadable articles on the OED, an account of its Sources of OED data and a list of Charts and tables on the website. The previous EOED website (2005-2013) can be seen by clicking on the link to Archived site at the foot of each page.

Last updated on 1 January 2020