Scots wha hae web access

photo of Dr Skretkowicz and Susan Rennie

Access to the key reference dictionaries for the Scots language is to be opened up to the public by a massive joint project, based at the University of Dundee, to deliver them on the worldwide web within three years.

A team led by senior English lecturer Victor Skretkowicz and lexicographer Susan Rennie is working to incorporate all 12 volumes of the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue and all 10 of the Scottish National Dictionary to create the Dictionary of Scots Language - and make it available on the internet.

The two works span the earliest records of Scots words from around 1200 to recent times and the project to combine them and make them publicly accessible on the web is expected to be the most important development to hit the Scots language since the two parent dictionaries were begun in the 1920s. Access to a million illustrative quotations should lead to a better understanding of the history and many variations of Scots.

Victor and Susan's team are currently working their way through approximately one hundred thousand word entries, translating the pages into electronic format suitable for the web. The team of eight, including proof readers, keyers and a computing assistant, have recently moved into specially refurbished premises on the University campus at Hawkhill.

By February 2004 all internet users, including school pupils, should have unlimited access to the dictionary. The three year task is funded by a grant of 320,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Board. Copyright material for the Dictionary of the Scots Language is being supplied by The Scottish National Dictionary Association Ltd., and by the Joint Council for the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue. The Joint Council includes the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews, Stirling, and the Carnegie Trust.

Dr Skretkowicz said, "This will open up the Scots language to all kinds of study and interest groups as well as casual browsers. At present, because so few full sets of the dictionaries have been published, they are relatively difficult to access. You have to make a trip to a specialist library where you may have to make a request to view a particular volume. While concise dictionaries have been on the market for some time, they do not contain anything like the wealth of material of the full seminal volumes. In these, the quotations give the cultural context of every word and meaning."

The dictionary editor Susan Rennie adds: "It could also be very empowering. Scots children who might have been discouraged from using a word like 'heid' will be able to turn to the Dictionary of the Scots Language and find the same word used by authors such as Dunbar, and cited in the Acts of the old Scottish Parliament."

Further information on the project as it develops will be posted at the University website.

Access to the key reference dictionaries for the Scots language is to be opened up to the public by a massive joint project, based at the University of Dundee, to deliver them on the worldwide web within three years.

A team led by senior English lecturer Victor Skretkowicz and lexicographer Susan Rennie is working to incorporate all 12 volumes of the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue and all 10 of the Scottish National Dictionary to create the Dictionary of Scots Language - and make it available on the internet.

The two works span the earliest records of Scots words from around 1200 to recent times and the project to combine them and make them publicly accessible on the web is expected to be the most important development to hit the Scots language since the two parent dictionaries were begun in the 1920s. Access to a million illustrative quotations should lead to a better understanding of the history and many variations of Scots.

Victor and Susan's team are currently working their way through approximately one hundred thousand word entries, translating the pages into electronic format suitable for the web. The team of eight, including proof readers, keyers and a computing assistant, have recently moved into specially refurbished premises on the University campus at Hawkhill.

By February 2004 all internet users, including school pupils, should have unlimited access to the dictionary. The three year task is funded by a grant of 320,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Board. Copyright material for the Dictionary of the Scots Language is being supplied by The Scottish National Dictionary Association Ltd., and by the Joint Council for the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue. The Joint Council includes the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews, Stirling, and the Carnegie Trust.

Dr Skretkowicz said, "This will open up the Scots language to all kinds of study and interest groups as well as casual browsers. At present, because so few full sets of the dictionaries have been published, they are relatively difficult to access. You have to make a trip to a specialist library where you may have to make a request to view a particular volume. While concise dictionaries have been on the market for some time, they do not contain anything like the wealth of material of the full seminal volumes. In these, the quotations give the cultural context of every word and meaning."

The dictionary editor Susan Rennie adds: "It could also be very empowering. Scots children who might have been discouraged from using a word like 'heid' will be able to turn to the Dictionary of the Scots Language and find the same word used by authors such as Dunbar, and cited in the Acts of the old Scottish Parliament."

Further information on the project as it develops will be posted at the University website.



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