OED1’s completion

Forty-four years after the first part of the OED had been published (1884), and seventy-odd years after the Dictionary was first thought of (late 1850s), the first edition of the OED was completed in 1928. To mark the event, the OUP’s in-house journal The Periodical devoted its entire February 1928 issue (click on link to read) to an account of the Dictionary’s history and significance, including brief biographies of the main editors (pp. 10ff.) and a description of how the Dictionary had been made (pp. 15ff.)

The University of Oxford also engaged in special celebrations. On 5 June 1928, at its annual feast of Encaenia (a major event in the University’s calendar at which honorary degrees are conferred on public, academic and local luminaries), it rewarded both the publishers and the editors; see Encaenia 1928 in our Photos section. Then on 6 June the Oxford University Press, Oxford University, and the Goldsmiths’ Company (who had contributed £5,000 towards the cost of Volume VI), held a magnificent Banquet in Goldsmiths’ Hall, at which the prime minister Stanley Baldwin, the senior surviving OED editor W. W. Craigie, the Prime Warden of the Goldsmith’s Company, and the university Vice Chancellor all gave highly readable Speeches.

We also reproduce a copy of the banquet’s Programme (including the menu) and the Seating plan.

Further pages in this section cover the Press’s announcement of the 1933 Supplement, the Lunch that celebrated this event, and its coverage in the 1934 issue of The Periodical.

Last updated on 13 August 2019