The Anglo-Norman On-Line Hub



Purpose and Scope

This site was created to support the preparation of a substantially revised and greatly expanded edition of the Anglo Norman Dictionary, whose first edition was published between 1977 and 1992 by the MHRA

An award by the Arts and Humanities Research Board of £108,894 over two years (March 2002-February 2004) under the Resource Enhancement Scheme has allowed letters A-E of the revised edition to be digitised and mounted on this site, along with a selection of scholarly articles on Anglo-Norman topics and some of the source texts on which the Dictionary is based. 

A further AHRB award, a Major Research Grant of £426,112 for the period September 2003-August 2007, has enabled the editors to appoint two full-time postdoctoral researchers to the AND team to work with them on the revision and expansion of letters F-H of the dictionary, which will also be made available on this site in due course. A PhD studentship related to the dictionary source materials is also provided for under this grant, provided a suitable candidate can be found. This side of the operations is located at the University of Wales Aberystwyth within the Department of European Languages.

A third AHRB grant of £309,444 for the period April 2004 to April 2007, is now funding the continuation and expansion of digitisation work on Anglo-Norman source documents, providing an enlarged budget for text capture by rekeying and OCR, with two full-time encoding assistants employed to create the XML markup required to make many more of the sources fully accessible both to the dictionary editors and to scholars and students throughout the world. As one of the first activities in this phase, the articles from letters F-Z of the First Edition of the AND will be digitised and placed on-line pending the completion of revised AND2 versions of the entries concerned. Original publications, both of scholarly articles and of critical editions of Anglo-Norman texts, will be also be added to the Hub's resources. This work will be centered on the University of Wales Swansea, in the Department of French. 


Dictionary Progress

The revision of letters A-E is now complete apart from final refereeing and correction, and the print version will start going to press in 2004. By agreement with the MHRA, the editors plan a phased on-line publication of the revised letters A-E, co-ordinated with the appearance of the print edition. In the interim, access to the Dictionary itself via this site is available only to the editorial team and to a limited number of scholars invited to review and comment on the material and its presentation. Source texts and scholarly articles associated with the Dictionary are, however, already freely accessible and searchable on-line. The revised Letters F-H will in all likelihood be published on-line only, and will become freely available as and when they are completed and reviewed in the course of the 2003-2007 funding period.

As of May 2004, letters A, B, C, D and E (around 10,600 substantive entries altogether, with a similar number of cross-reference headwords) are fully marked-up and on-line. The conversion of these entries from Microsoft Word documents to full XML markup based on the TEI P4 Guidelines for Print Dictionaries, and their integration into a structure-aware XML indexing and retrieval system that covers dictionary sources and scholarly articles, was completed in July 2003, marking a major milestone in the project.The contents of A, B and C have undergone external scholarly review, the results of which are now being fed back into the on-line version in parallel with the final preparation of the print version of these letters. Similar external reviews are now being carried out on D and E, and the results will likewise be progressively incorporated into the on-line entries, which are at the same time being carefully checked to ensure the accuracy of the many thousands of cross-references between entries and the consistency of the sigla used to indicate the sources of the quotations

The citations (roughly 70,000 in number) contained in these entries are electronically indexed and fully searchable, providing a corpus of  material that can already be employed to investigate the meaning and usage even of words outside the A-E range. The English translations and glosses within the entries (totalling about 32,590) are similarly indexed and searchable, providing a means of using the dictionary in the "reverse" direction (English => Anglo-Norman), as well as easy access to entire semantic fields not readily available in a print publication.

List of Texts

The List of Texts cited in the Dictionary was placed on-line at the end of June 2003 and has been regularly revised to reflect the results of checking it against the references in the citations themselves. Apart from its obvious bibliographical function, this item further enhances the power of the on-line version. Both the print and the digital versions of this list give for each source the corresponding siglum (where available) from the "industry standard" Dictionnaire étymologique de l’ancien français. But the digital version additionally allows users to look up the entry for each such siglum in the DEAF's on-line Complément bibliographique. This is achieved by using the AND's search engine to access the DEAF data, something which is made possible (and indeed easy) because both projects use XML markup. Also, the bibliographical particulars of each text in the list contain a link that allows all citations from that source to be summoned up on screen (and then, from that list of citations, the entries where they are located can be accessed directly). Conversely, by double-clicking on the siglum after any citation when browsing the normal dictionary display, the full particulars of that item can be brought up on screen. 


Textbase Progress

The AHRB  Resource Enhancement award for Phase I has also funded the expansion of the site beyond the Dictionary proper to encompass a series of scholarly articles on Anglo-Norman topics and a steadily-growing collection of the source texts on which the Dictionary draws, also marked up in TEI-conformant XML. These materials, which are fully indexed, searchable, and cross-referenced to and from the dictionary entries, are made freely available as and when they are ready, since their release for general access is not tied to the print publication schedule of the Dictionary. The full benefit of the digitised sources will however only become widely apparent once the dictionary entries can be made available to all users, who will then be able to move at will between citations in the entries and the documents from which they are taken (as those users with access to the on-line Dictionary are already able to do).

F.M. Nichols' edition of Britton has been digitised via OCR capture and subsequent XML markup from the original print edition. Both volumes (Editor's preface and introduction, followed by 780 pages of text with variant apparatus) are now encoded and available to all on this site. Digitisation and markup of  W.R. Rothwell's edition of Bibbesworth's Tretiz is complete apart from the addition of a small amount of apparatus, and E. Walberg's edition of the Vie de Saint Thomas Becket by Guernes de Pont-Sainte-Maxence was added to the on-line collection in early May 2003, followed at the end of the same month by the French-language documents from Volume 1 of Rymer's Foedera.  Tony Hunt's edition of Les Gius Partiz des Eschez was placed on line in mid-June 2003, and electronic republication of  I. Short's edition of Philippe de Thaon's Comput will follow shortly. Fr. Michel's edition of the Oxford Anglo-Norman Psalter was made available on-line in mid August 2003, and marking-up of the Cambridge Psalter is now well advanced, as is the rekeying and encoding of a parallel edition of two Anglo-Norman translations of the Acts of the Apostles. The French-language documents from Volume 2 of Rymer's Foedera were added to the on-line collection at the end of August 2003. Volume 3 of Foedera  (containing by far the most French material of the four volumes) was placed on line in April 2004, followed shortly afterwards by Foedera Volume 4, completing the set. In May 2004, the French documents in Riley's edition of the Liber Albus were placed on line. The French portions of other two volumes in his Munimenta Gildhallae Londoniensis will follow shortly. Also added to the on-line sources at the end of May 2004 was Arnould's edition of Le Livre de Seyntz Medicines (from which nearly 600 citations in the A-E entries are drawn). This is the first of the ANTS editions with full editorial apparatus to appear on the site, and others will follow in the coming months (as well as further volumes from the ANTS Plain Texts series). Tony Hunt's Popular Medicine in Thirteenth Century England is being marked up by project staff, a complex task in view of the variety of documents and editorial conventions within the one volume. Digitisation and mark-up of the same editor's two volumes on Anglo-Norman Medicine, which present difficulties of a similar order, will follow. Work is also in progress on digitising a number of ANTS editions.

The first peer-reviewed scholarly article to be originally published by this project, W. Rothwell's 'Ignorant scribe and learned editor: Patterns of textual error in editions of Anglo-French texts'  was added to the on-line collection in May 2004. It will be followed in mid 2004 by the same author's new edition of Femina (Trinity College MS. B.14.40), the project's first source text to be edited from the original MS for original publication on this site.

All the source texts now on line have been electronically indexed and are searchable (as a corpus) via the site's search engine, or via a quick search facility (for searches confined to the individual text in guestion) on the contents page of the text concerned.


Site Address

The project is housed on a set of interconnected servers at Aberystwyth, Swansea, Karlsruhe and Leeds. All production servers carry the same content and facilities, but from time to time one or the other needs to be taken off-line. Such alterations to production servers do not affect users, provided the generic url is used to access the site.

It is important always to use this generic url  to enter the site, and not to use any bookmark, shortcut or other form of stored link that instead names a specific numbered server (such as The generic url  ensures the user will  always be connected to a current production server, even if one or more of the specific servers is off-line.  We would especially ask those who create or administer "link lists" or resource catalogues to bear this in mind if they wish to offer a link to this site.

  For a fuller account of the project from a scholarly perspective, please see D Trotter, "L'Avenir de la lexicographie Anglo-Normande: vers une refonte de l'Anglo-Norman-Dictionary?", Revue de Linguistique Romane, 64 (2000), 391-405.

          Last UpdateNovember 28, 2003 22:35 -0000

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