History of the online Anglo-Norman Dictionary

Initial Purpose and Scope

The first edition of the Anglo-Norman Dictionary (AND1) was published in printed fascicles by the Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA) between 1977 and 1992. Access to significant new materials (see Anglo-French and the AND on this site) meant that the desirability of revising the AND was apparent even before the final fascicles of the first edition had gone to press. Between 1989 to 1998 the Editorial Team benefited from the material support of the MHRA to start preparing and carrying out the first stages of this revision, which they gratefully acknowledge.

This site (www.anglo-norman.net) was initially created in 2001 to support the preparation of a substantially revised, greatly expanded and entirely digital edition: AND2.

Chronology and Funding History

March 2002-February 2004

An award by the Arts and Humanities Research Board (now the Arts and Humanities Research Council) of £108,894 under the Resource Enhancement Scheme allowed letters A-E of the revised edition to be digitised and mounted on this site, along with a selection of scholarly articles on Anglo-Norman topics and some of the source texts. The site did not yet become accessible to the general public.

September 2003-August 2007

Thanks to a Major Research AHRC Grant of £426,112 a newly expanded AND team (now located at Aberystwyth University within the Department of Modern Languages) continued the AND 2 revision with the letters F-H.

April 2004-April 2007

A third AHRC grant of £309,444 funded the digitisation and electronic re-publication of letters F-Z of the First Edition of the AND, allowing the online AND2 entries to be supplemented by the AND1 versions of letters not yet revised. The online AND now presented a complete dictionary A-Z, but with the AND2 revision continuing to update consecutive sections of the alphabet (and gradually replacing the AND1 entries).

The same grant also funded a continuation and expansion of digitisation work on Anglo-Norman source documents and scholarly articles on Anglo-Norman lexis. This work was centred on the Department of French at Swansea University.

The expanded Textbase became publicly available in July 2007. See Textbase

January 2005

A printed version of the A-E (Second Edition) was published by Modern Humanities Research Association. For more information, see http://www.mhra.org.uk/publications/Anglo-Norman-Dictionary-Second-Edition).

February 2007-February 2008

A fourth AHRC-funded project allowed a new Post-Doctoral Researcher, located at the Aberystwyth Department of Modern Languages, to investigate Anglo-Norman lexis in unpublished documents in The National Archives (TNA). Findings were incorporated into the online AND in all sections of the alphabet.

September 2007-August 2012

Further AHRC funding of £874,000 ensured the continued employment of the Editorial Team to carry out the revision and online publication of letters I to M.

January-September 2010

A Swiss Ph.D. student was funded for a year by the Zeno Karl Schindler Stiftung to complete her thesis (an edition of an unpublished Anglo-Norman treatise on prognostication by dreams) in the AND offices, while carrying out part-time research for the Dictionary.

January 2011-March 2012

The AND project was awarded £66,353 as the Aberystwyth element of a joint Heidelberg-Aberystwyth grant from the AHRC and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). This grant funded a German researcher for two years’ work in Heidelberg, on the Dictionnaire étymologique de l’ancien français (DEAF) and one year in Aberystwyth on the AND.

March 2011

The Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres awarded the Prix Honoré Chavée ‘à la seconde édition de l’Anglo-Norman Dictionary par MM. Stewart Gregory, William Rothwell et David Trotter et pour le site Internet www.anglo-norman.net que dirige David Trotter.’ The Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, founded in 1663, is one of a series of bodies which together make up the Institut de France, of which the best known is the Académie Française. The Prix Chavée was established ‘to encourage linguistic studies and especially research relating to Romance languages’. The award of this prestigious prize by a leading French institution signals a significant change and growing awareness of the significance of Anglo-Norman, which the AND has helped to bring about.

24-26 March 2011

The AND hosted a three-day conference, Present and Future Research in Anglo-Norman, in Aberystwyth, attracting an international group of scholars. Printed copies of proceedings are available by contacting anglonormandictionary@gmail.com.

September 2012-August 2016 (subsequently extended to February 2017 in consequence of the untimely death of the then Project Leader in 2015)

The project was awarded a further AHRC grant of £802,412, to enable the revision of letters N-Q by the same editorial team.

This award also covered the appointment of a new post-doctoral research assistant to a two-year post, to help implement a number of editorial enhancements: the introduction of systematic cross-references to relevant dictionaries, and a complete overhaul of the semantic and usage labels in the Dictionary (in this case, including the as yet unrevised letters R to Z from AND1). In addition, from N onwards, the editors began to annotate entries, wherever appropriate, with commentaries about etymology and the rationale of the entry’s arrangement.

As part of this phase, Aberystwyth University provided a Ph.D. studentship to supplement the AHRC funding.

It was during this phase, and after the passing of Prof. Trotter, that the AND Advisory Board was created, in combination with the introduction of External Readers to peer-review new AND entries.

March 2017-June 2021

A seventh AHRC grant of £812,856 enabled the revision of letters R and S. The funding also provided for a new part-time research assistant to help with the major new feature of this phase, namely the process of converting the AND, which originally structured its entries purely by semantic principles, to a historical dictionary. All AND citations were dated individually and organised in chronological order per sense. In addition, the earliest known attestations of each entry/sense were identified.

It was during this phase that the project was migrated to new servers hosted by the University of Glasgow.

July 2021 -March 2025

The eighth AHRC grant enables the revision of letters T to Z.


AND2 Progress

  1. The revision of letters A-E was completed in 2003, and the print version of AND2 A-E may be ordered from the publishers.The AND2 entries for letters A-E (around 10,600 substantive entries altogether, with a similar number of cross-references) were converted from Microsoft Word documents to full XML mark-up based on the TEI P4 Guidelines for Print Dictionaries, and their integration into a structure-aware XML indexing and retrieval system that covers dictionary sources and scholarly articles, was completed in July 2003.This was followed by a full digitisation of unrevised AND1 entries.In August 2004, the entries for letter V of AND1 were converted from their original Word format to the same TEI-conformant XML mark-up employed for the revised A-E.By July 2005, letters P-Z from AND1 were completely digitised, adding 7,000 substantive entries.Letters L, M, N, O and U from AND1 (2000+ substantive entries) were added in December 2005.Finally, in February 2006 letters G, H, I, J, and K of AND1 (around 1,400 substantive entries) were added.The website www.anglo-norman.net was opened to the general public on 1 March 2006, providing access to a full digital dictionary (A-Z): AND2 entries for letters A-E together with the newly revised letter F (published in digital form only), followed by the digitised version of the first edition (AND1) letters G-Z. The continuing AND2 revision of entries will gradually replace all AND1 entries.
  1. AND2 letter G entries (just under 1,000 in number) were published online in December 2006. They are written by Geert De Wilde and Virginie Derrien.
  1. AND2 letter H entries (comprising around 700 substantive entries, containing over 3,000 citations and 1,500 English glosses) were published in September 2007. They are written by Geert De Wilde and Virginie Derrien.
  1. AND2 letter I/Y entries (526 substantive entries containing over 2,500 citations and 1285 translations) were published at the start of August 2008. They are written by Geert De Wilde and Virginie Derrien.
  1. AND2 letters J and K entries (written by Geert De Wilde and Heather Pagan) were published in May 2009. They comprise 314 substantive entries, containing 2,173 citations and 1038 translations)
  1. AND2 letter L entries (written by Geert De Wilde and Heather Pagan) were published in early July 2010. They comprise 800 substantive entries, with 4,695 citations and 2,375 translations and glosses
  1. AND2 letter M entries (written by Geert De Wilde and Heather Pagan) were published at the start of September 2012: 1,562 substantive entries, containing 9480 citations and 4682 translations and glosses. Alongside those new entries, a significant number of new attestations deriving from the work of Natasha Romanova on unpublished documents in The National Archives were incorporated throughout the alphabet, and a number of corrections suggested by the detailed review of the print edition of AND2 A-E by Matsumara and Roques in RLiR 71 (2007), 278-323 were made to the entries concerned.
  1. AND2 letter N entries (written by Geert De Wilde and Heather Pagan) were published in November 2013. The 339 substantive entries of AND1 were replaced by 887 AND2 entries, which contained four times the number of citations (4218 in AND2 as compared to 1075 in AND1) and over twice the number of glossed senses and translations.From this point, entries were given, where relevant, editorial commentaries.References to corresponding entries in cognate dictionaries were added to all A-N entries.
  1. AND2 letters O and U entries (written by Geert De Wilde and Heather Pagan) were published mid July 2014. As with previous letters, there is a significant increase in the number of substantive entries (664 for the two letters together, compared with 484 in the AND1 version). There are 5,218 citations for these letters (as against 1,567 in AND1) 2,672 distinct senses or subsenses are identified (as against 1,301 in AND1) along with 963 locutions and phrasal expressions (AND1: 288).
  1. Because of the very high number of letter P entries, it was decided to let Q entries take precedence. AND2 letter Q entries (written by Geert De Wilde) were published in January 2015. They contain 153 substantive entries (AND1: 139), 1,629 citations (AND1: 840), 777 senses (AND1: 536) and 506 locutions (AND1:150).
  1. AND2 letter P entries (written by Geert De Wilde and Heather Pagan) were published in March 2017, incorporating 2,450 substantive entries (AND1: 1,859), 9,551 senses and subsenses (AND1: 5,130), 17,861 citations (AND1: 6,613), 8,265 translations/glosses (AND1: 5,030) and 3,402 locutions (AND1: 1,025).The Publication of P was combined with the introduction of revised semantic and usage labels across the alphabet (including unrevised entries in AND1). A newly developed system for searching senses by label was added to the user interface.
  1. AND2 letter R entries (written by Geert De Wilde and Heather Pagan) were published in December 2020, with 1,862 substantive entries (AND1: 1,350), 6,512 senses and subsenses, 13,414 citations and 1,750 locutions. At the same time, the AND introduced its new Historical Dictionary features, with all citations (A-Z) now dated and presented in chronological order, and with the earliest attestation of every word/sense indicated. This was combined with a full overhaul and migration of the website to University of Glasgow servers.
  1. AND2 letters S and Z entries (written by Geert De Wilde, Heather Pagan and Delphine Demelas) were published in February 2022, with 2,480 substantive entries, 7,361 senses and subsenses, 16,450 citations and 1,957 locutions.
  1. AND2 letters T entries (written by Geert De Wilde, Delphine Demelas and Heather Pagan) were published in April 2024, with 1,805 substantive entries (AND1: 1168), 6,984 (AND1: 4,718) senses and subsenses, 15,380 citations (AND1: 5909) and 2,958 locutions (AND1: 915). At the same time AND2 entries for U and Y were improved and expanded with additional materials.