Citizen lexicography

Creating a ‘Word Zoo’ in Canberra

by Sarah Ogilvie

 

Every day for the past few months, the Sydney linguist Michael Walsh has been sitting in the Mitchell Library poring over old manuscripts. He is extracting old wordlists of Aboriginal languages from the library’s rich collection of early British settler diaries, missionary field notes, and unpublished historical documents for a project funded by the State Library of New South Wales and Rio Tinto. This week, Michael sent me twelve scanned pages of a leather-bound diary he discovered which belonged to Richard Tester, who had recorded his daily adventures in 1860, travelling overland from Kerkaraboo on the Wakefield River to Melbourne and the goldfields.

Read the rest of this article by purchasing a subscription to ABR Online, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.

If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.

If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.

Published in March 2012 no. 339
Sarah Ogilvie

Sarah Ogilvie

Sarah Ogilvie is Director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre and Reader in Linguistics at the Australian National University. She is Chief Editor of Oxford Dictionaries, Australia. She has worked as a lexicographer for twenty years, initially in Australia as Senior Editor on Macquarie and Oxford Dictionaries, and more recently in Britain on the twenty-volume Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and Shorter Oxford Dictionary. She has written dictionaries of all genres, including historical dictionaries, bilingual dictionaries, and children’s dictionaries. She writes and lectures on metalexicography and lexicology, especially relating to the history of the OED. Her book on the global history of the OEDWords of the World, will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2012.

 

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.