Reengineering an Online Historical Dictionary for Readers of Specific Texts

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This paper presents an example of how a digital historical dictionary can be reengineered for new uses and new audiences, without changing the underlying data and editing processes. We start from the premise that a large proportion of users of historical dictionaries will be using them to read specific old texts as part of their studies or research in fields that use the texts as source material (literature, history, religion, etc.). Ordbog over det norrøne prosasprog / A Dictionary of Old Norse Prose (ONP) has a vast archive of digitized texts, together with detailed referencing sufficient, in theory, to generate a glossary for each page and line of the texts. For the feature demonstrated here we reverse the normal dynamic dictionary-generation process. Instead of generating dictionary entries, the application searches for citations on an edition page and generates a running glossary to the edition, displaying it alongside the edition text. In this paper we present the new public interface to the dictionary (currently at and the contextual glossaries that are generated from the dictionary’s data. These have been developed using adaptive web technologies for use on a range of devices, including tablets and phones.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElectronic lexicography in the 21st century: Smart lexicography : Proceedings of the eLex 2019 conference
EditorsIztok Kosem
Number of pages16
Place of PublicationBrno
PublisherLexical Computing CZ
Publication date1 Oct 2019
Article number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019
SerieseLex Conference. Proceedings

ID: 228447403