In 1980, the National Endowment for the Humanities began to provide both outright and matching funds, and in 198096, the editing was supported jointly by the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment. Contributions came from more than 200 individuals and institutions in 199396, providing support for the final stages.
Between 1975 and 1996, during the remainder of Kuhns editorship and into that of Lewis, with a staff that fluctuated between seven and 13 editors (nearly all full time), the editing proceeded at a faster rate. The faster pace kept the project moving despite an increasing amount of data, especially during the 1980s with the continuing extraction of quotations from newly edited texts.
In late 1997, 67 years after it began, the editing was completed by a reduced staff of editorsa milestone in the history of the MED and the University.