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The Nerthus Project - Smashing Success or Failing Flop?

October 2013

Nerthus, an online lexical database of Old English, has been in the making since 2007 - time to look back and evaluate the state, progress and benefits of the project. Is Nerthus going to be an indispensable research tool for Anglo-Saxonists or an obscure grammar toy, quickly fading into oblivion?

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April 2013

Dictionary of Old English keeps on growing at a steady pace: The 2012 Progress Report

The annually published progress report of the Dictionary of Old English (DOE) reveals ongoing advancement towards an eventual completion of the project but no groundbreaking innovations for 2012. Record amounts of donations allowed the DOE staff to continue its business as usual.
Dictionary of Old English donors
Some of the donors that brought the DOE record donations in 2012

No news is good news. While there are no major changes at the Dictionary of Old English, its 2012 progress report shows that the editors’ hard, lexicographic work is continuing to slowly push the dictionary towards its ultimate goal - cataloguing the entire vocabulary of the earliest stage of the English language. Entries for the letter H are swiftly being compiled and might in fact be published in the near future. It has been five years since the Dictionary of Old English issued its last letter, G.

DOE Letter G
Lemmatization of the entire corpus is also progressing well. For instance, about 70% of all citations for the letter S have now been lemmatized. Furthermore, work is continuing on the “Parker on the Web” project, which will eventually allow DOE users to simply click on a special symbol within a citation to see a thumbnail image of its original manuscript context.
In 2008 the last letter of the
dictionary, G, was published

Perhaps the most remarkable and delightful piece of news of 2012 is the unmatched amount of donations that the DOE received. Honourable Hal Jackman’s gift over $500,000 was the largest single sum ever donated. But individuals and institutions, like the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, or the British Academy, to name but a few, also donated generously.

It is to be hoped that this unparalleled generosity was not just a flash in the pan, but will continue into the coming years so that the DOE can meet its future goals and challenges.