Over the past many moons I’ve posted from time to time about my researches into the Oxford English Dictionary, and some of the interesting or puzzling or maddening or heartening things I’ve found there. A big theme lately has been the need for a Variorum, or track-changes, OED, which would allow researchers to compare the lexicography of OED from one revision to another.
Well, good news! Earlier this year I received a big, five-year grant (C$265,720) from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) to continue my data enhancement work on the OED. I’ve got two big goals: produce (1) a useable Variorum linking OED1, the 1st and 2nd Supplements, OED2, the Additional Series, and instances of OED3; and (2) a rational and “research-ready” bibliography of OED sources, applicable across editions/revisions and linked to external bibliographies (e.g. ESTC, HATHI, etc.), which will help make sense of the vast data trove that OED quotations represent.
Most of the money from SSHRC will be going to RA wages and salaries to help me munge through mountains of data. St. Jerome’s University has also made a big contribution, giving me extra research time and a research space right next door to my faculty office. Already since September with Naod Abraham we’ve put this space to use: we’ve been making great strides vectorizing and algebrating different OEDs to make them talk.