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The number of people who contributed quotations to the First Edition of the OED runs into four figures. Many individuals contributed thousands of quotations, but sheer volume is not the best measure of significance, as out of all of the quotations sent in, only a selection were included in the published dictionary. The readers The […]

J.R.R. Tolkien and the OED

Amid all the publicity surrounding this year’s release of the film of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, it has occasionally been mentioned that Tolkien was an English professor. What is rather less well known is that in 1919 and 1920, at the very start of his career, Tolkien worked on the […]

First edition staff and contributors

1. Contributors A. This list contains the names of the principal readers before 1884; many of these began reading as early as 1858. The material which they contributed formed a great part of the main foundation on which the Dictionary was based. Under some of the names the number of quotations sent in is given, […]