Writing the Dictionary

After the new start, the first challenge the project provided was to find all existing quotation slips from the past. Frederick Furnivall had not kept track on where the slips actually were stored. He had his own letters, of course, and he knew of some others, but he had not organised it well and therefore it was a great organizational mess. It took James Murray months to locate the still existing slips. Even the missing letters ‘H’, ‘Q’ and ‘Pa’ could be detected again, H in Florence, Q in the English Midlands, and Pa in a stable in County Cavan. To collect the slips at one place and to sort them properly, Murray built a shed (which was normally used to store gardening materials) in his backyard. He called it the ‘Scriptorium’ and in the inside he installed ‘no fewer than 1,029 pigeon-holes’ on the walls in order to sort the slips.