Germanic Lexicon Project
Author: David Robinson (Glasgow University)
Email: daibhidh at hotmail dot co dot uk
Date: 2015-01-13 02:27:15
Subject: Re: History of B&T at GLP
> > I am trying to find out when Bosworth & Toller first became available
> > in a form where you could search for a Modern English word. I note the
> > search engine is dated 2005 but it is version 3, so an earlier version
> > may have been available to some or all. Further, the database presumably
> > had so many mistakes at the beginning that it would be difficult to find
> > things. Is it possible to get access to earlier versions? My specific
> > problem is that I need to find out what would have been found if you
> > searched for 'onion' in about June 2004! Are there records
> > of when individual entries or pages were updated?
> > Thank you.
> > David
> It's been so long since I coded up the system that I no longer remember exactly what came before version 3.
> It would be very difficult to answer your question. I still have old files from the project here and there, but I didn't keep things organized in such a way that I'd be able to look back and determine what things looked like at some earlier state.
> Can I ask why you're interested in this? It's a rather unusual question.
Thank you for replying. Yes it is a bit unusual! I am researching the etymology of 'onion' and I am surprised that the the OED does not even mention the OE words in B&T that are clearly cognate. They would be difficult to find in the paper edition as you might not look under e, y or h! So the question is would a researcher have been able, at that date, to find the words (eneleác, enneleác, ynne-leác, yna) by searching for 'onion' in the digital version as you can easily now. These are of course words you are very unlikely to learn on an OE course as they occur only in glosses, word lists and a very obscure part of the Bible.
Please don't go to any great trouble, but I was hoping that if the text files (that is says were updated weekly) were lying in one folder then I might be able to see if the word 'onion' was in the appropriate places without errors so that it could be found.
Of course, even if the data was available, there is the question of when researchers actually realized that it was better than the paper version and started using it!