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The Living Archive: Preserving the Papers of the Oxford English Dictionary


In this paper, Beverley McCulloch looks back on a decade as custodian of the Oxford English Dictionary archive, held at Oxford University Press Archives. The paper discusses the key duties and day to day responsibilities of the OED Archivist, as well as some of the challenges faced. Interesting items from within the collection are highlighted, as are some of the fascinating enquiries that are received. The work of the OUP Museum, run by the Archives Department, is also touched upon. Whilst reflecting on the past, the paper additionally considers the prospects for the future of the OED archive, and the Press archive as a whole, focusing on issues such as the impact of technology.