About Word-File Digitization

Seventy-five drawers of word-files

Word-file drawers

The DNE Word-File Digitization Project aims to digitize the more than 100,000 word-files that went into the creation of the Dictionary of Newfoundland English and to make the data available to interested researchers. Digitization will also help to preserve the DNE’s primary and secondary source records.

Each word-file contains an example of a local word in its actual usage (often a quote from a printed text or a recorded interview), or a commentary on a word by the dictionary’s editors and contributors. Some cards also show sketches and diagrams, which help to define the word being investigated. About two thirds of these records are not represented in the published DNE entries, and constitute an essential source for future studies of the grammar and lexicon of Newfoundland English.

A drawer containing word-files for the letter 'G'.

One of the seventy five word-file drawers that make up the ELRC's DNE Collection.

Under the DNE Word-File Digitization Project, trained research assistants in the ELRC are scanning each of these 100,000 word-files and transcribing their contents into a searchable database. The Project began in 2005 and will take several years to complete. A final phase will be to make the database available online to other researchers and interested parties.