16.262 OCRing the OLD

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Thu Oct 10 2002 - 05:28:06 EDT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 262.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

             Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 10:06:20 +0100
             From: Willard McCarty <w.mccarty@btinternet.com>
             Subject: OCRing the OLD

    This in response to Humanist 16.259. Putting aside the legality of scanning
    the Oxford Latin Dictionary (currently very much in print, and not cheap),
    some experiments I did years ago with pages of the Dictionary suggest that
    a great deal of proofreading and correction would be required. There are
    three columns per page, which when I experimented with the scanning
    required manual definition; things may have improved with the software
    since then in that regard. A spelling dictionary, if one could be located,
    would not help with the numerous abbreviations. The size of type for
    quotations and references is very small. Overall it looks to me like a
    manual-entry job.

    Unfortunately the OLD was, as I recall being told, the last book or major
    reference book for which OUP used metal plates. So there are no tapes or
    other digital storage media to be accessed. My contact at the Press said it
    would welcome a digitized version for research purposes -- as would
    thousands of scholars, no doubt. Perhaps someone here knows whether the
    Press has begun or is contemplating a digitization project with the OLD?

    There is of course the Louis & Short provided online by Perseus,


    Dr Willard McCarty | Senior Lecturer | Centre for Computing in the
    Humanities | King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS || +44 (0)20
    7848-2784 fax: -2980 || willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk |
    w.mccarty@btinternet.com | www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/wlm/

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