I am just starting work on this page — late January 2021. My bookmarks could be used to define the meaning of chaos. I use two browsers so even if my bookmarks were well organized on either browser, and they are not well organized on either, it would be hard to find what I want. So. I am working up this page of research links.
Bible and Jewish religious texts —
Need I point out that the Hebrew and Christian bibles were not written in English! The King James translation was published in 1611. Shakespeare died in 1623. We all know how difficult it is to really make sense of Shakespeare passages if working entirely in 21st century English. Not only does the king James rely on Translation practice and biblical scholarship that is 400 years old, but we also require translation for some of the English the King James translators used. Before using biblical quotes I’ll advise working with someone who can help you with the original languages. Use the Lexicons of Early Modern English, referenced below, to check up on the English meanings circa 1600.
- This is a bilingual Hebrew Bible and king James translation. Use this if you need to find the Hebrew passage and also to get some sense of word by word translation. In some cases, you will need to look up an English word in the Oxford English dictionary to understand what the 17th century sense was. As an example, when king Ahab has Michaele sent off to prison to be fed quite the king James Bible describes as “the bread of afflication” it is necessary to dig deeper. What is a bread of afflication?
- One of the resources found in the link, above, is Strong’s Concordance , an invaluable reference to Biblical Hebrew.
- At Sefaria.org you will find most of the Rabbinic texts in Hebrew and Aramaic with highly accurate translations. You can pick up words from the bilingual bible and run it through Sefaria to sometimes get an illuminating result.
- Lexicons of Early Modern English (LEME) used to be a resource with a Paywall. It is now free. This is the goto reference for Early Modern dictionaries.
- Johnson’s 1755 edition of his dictionary is a work in process. All pages are viewable as images and as of February, 2021, they had 9.9% of the dictionary searchable in text form.
- Cotgrave’s 1611 French English Dictionary. This is an early effort to put Cotgrave online. I have been using this site for a long time – twenty years? It is kind of funky. But, it does give you a reasonably easy way to get around this invaluable text.
- The University of Chicago ARTFL project includes a number of databases, including all of the standard Early Modern dictionaries, and the Diderot Encyclopedi in word searchable form – and more! Click on the ARTFL Project home page for an overview. Some of their databases are proprietary, and thus require access via an institutions site license.
- Wright’s British Dialect Dictionary published between 1898 and 1905 is the definitive reference for British dialects. This work incorporates and goes far beyond earlier dictionaries — and no later one can report the detail Wright does as the 20th century marked the end of most of the dialects that had survived that far.
- Dictionary of the Scottish Language. A fabulous dictionary that isolates Scottish English from other versions. Uses the OED style of citation so this also gets you into Scottish literary sources.
- Google Books: The goto first search for English speakers, for sure, but worth checking first for any of the major European languages. I do not know how good it is for Arabic, Chinese, etc and other non-European languages.
- Archive.org: You will find some books are links to Google Books, but others are fresh scans. Better scans. Archive.org always has better scans than the standard google book, so worth checking out even when you have a book from Google if you are going to download it for reading on a tablet.
- Hathi Trust: Freeish. Works best with access through an institution. Always worth checking if Google Books and Archive.org let you down.
- Biblioteque Nationale: This is the link to Galica, which is the part of the BN website for digital manuscripts.