The University Record, April 23, 2001

Funding hastens completion of project

From News and Information Services

The Middle English Dictionary (MED) project was supported almost entirely by the University in 1930–1974, except for some assistance in the 1930s from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Rockefeller Foundation. In 1974, in order to hasten the completion of the editing, application was made to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for funds to expand the editorial staff. The application was successful, and in 1975–76, eight new full-time editors were appointed.

In 1980, the National Endowment for the Humanities began to provide both outright and matching funds, and in 1980–96, the editing was supported jointly by the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment. Contributions came from more than 200 individuals and institutions in 1993–96, providing support for the final stages.

Between 1975 and 1996, during the remainder of Kuhn’s 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 editors—a milestone in the history of the MED and the University.