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Dokumentation // Documentation ○. at 6.3.2019 2. English 1. About ONP 1. History and development 1. Early history

1. Early history

This is not currently part of the peer-reviewed material of the project. Do not cite as a research publication.

Early history

In 1939 the dictionary project was incorporated in the Danish state budget in the form of an annual subvention to Den Arnamagnæanske Kommission, “The Arnamagnæan Commission”, which was responsible for the administration and publication of the completed work. The Arnamagnæan Commission is named after the Icelandic scholar Árni Magnússon (1663-1730), professor at the University of Copenhagen, who built up a large collection of Icelandic manuscripts, which he bequeathed to the university together with his books and the rest of his estate. During approximately the first 40 years, the project's limited staff was principally engaged in an excerpting of the corpus with a view to replacing the two major previous dictionaries from the nineteenth century, Johan Fritzner, Ordbog over Det gamle norske Sprog (Kristiania, 1886-1896) and Richard Cleasby & Gudbrand Vigfusson, An Icelandic-English Dictionary (Oxford, 1874, 2. rev. ed. 1957). The excerpting was selective. Each text was read by two editors who marked the items for which slips were subsequently written out by assistants.

In 1983 a prospectus was published and this was followed in 1989 by the volume of indices, which with its survey of the dictionary's corpus also forms an independent handbook to the study of Old Norse: Ordbog over det norrøne prosasprog: Registre (A Dictionary of Old Norse Prose: Indices) Copenhagen, 1989. The first volume of the dictionary proper appeared in 1995: Ordbog over det norrøne prosasprog 1: a - bam (A Dictionary of Old Norse Prose 1: a - bam) Copenhagen, 1995, the second, ban - da in 2000 and the third, de - em in 2004.


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