New project at the Trier Center for Digital Humanities (TCDH)

Digitisation of the new edition of the German Dictionary by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

27.10.2016 | General, Project News

Since October 1st, 2016, the TCDH has been working in a joint project with the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen to make the revised version available for free use on the Internet.

Hansel and Gretel, Mother Holle, or Cinderella – the fairy tales of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are universally known. Yet the brothers not only collected folk stories, with their German Dictionary (DWB) they also set a corner stone for German linguistics. A project for centuries and generations of lexicographers to come, as the last entry the Grimms themselves finished was the lemma "Furcht".

It was only in 1960 that the DWB, with its 300,000 entries the most extensive dictionary of the German language, was finished. Some of the brothers Grimm’s entries of words between A and F were 100 years old and scientifically already outdated by this time – for example, the brothers had thought the "Blindschleiche" (coecilian) to be a "blinde, giftige Schlange" (blind, venomous snake). Hence, lexicographers decided to substitute the most outdated parts of the dictionary in a new edition of nine volumes to be finishes by the end of 2016.

Since 1 October 2016 the TCDH, in a joint project with the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities, is working on providing the new edition free of charge online.

The TCDH is an ideal choice for this project, which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), as the centre is an established entity regarding full-text digitisation as well as indexing, provisioning, and linking of historical dictionaries. For example, between 1998 and 2003, the first edition of the Deutsches Wörterbuch, 32 volumes adding up to 30 kg of books, was digitised and made available online – making this literal and figurative heavy-weight of German language and cultural heritage easily accessible for researchers and the public alike.  

Following the example of the first edition, the new edition shall also be interlinked with additional dictionaries online, providing the possibilities for easy and diverse research endeavours and links within e.g. the Trier Dictionary Network.

Tags: #Wörterbuchnetz, Academy Project