Help Us Define the First Chapter of English

Dear Friends of the DOE,

I am thrilled to come back to Toronto after teaching at an American university for many years. As a graduate student, I was a research assistant at the DOE, and this experience helped me immensely to grow as a scholar. And I am not the only one: the statistics show that more than 90 percent of the graduate students who have worked on this great project have landed academic positions.

As the new Chief Editor of the DOE, I have three goals.

  1. To make steady progress on the publication of the DOE, while maintaining the high scholarly standards established by my predecessor, Professor Antonette di Paolo Healey.
  2. To expand the scope of the DOE, so that we may produce new research tools and teaching materials based on our digital data.
  3. And my final goal – my dream – is to build an Institute for Old English Study, for scholars and teachers, of course, but also students and the general public, so that anyone interested in Old English language, literature and culture will look to U of T for knowledge and inspiration.

To fulfill this ambitious agenda, we need your help. As of today, we have completed more than 60% of the entries, and we are about to publish the letter I. We couldn’t have reached this milestone without your past support. And now, there are new opportunities to get involved in our project.

  • By making a donation by April 2018, you can double your impact – your gift will be matched 1:1 by the Triangle Community Foundation.
  • You can take part in our new Adopt-a-Word challenge. For a minimum donation of $1,000 you can link your name (or that of a loved one) to a word or phrase of your choice in the Dictionary of Old English. Your dedication will be attached to the listing in perpetuity.

Thank you in advance for your support of the Dictionary. I hope to share my dream with everyone who loves English and wants to explore its fascinating history!

Haruko Momma
Angus Cameron Professor of Old English Language and Literature
Chief Editor, Dictionary of Old English
Professor of Medieval Studies and English
University of Toronto

Based at the University of Toronto, Canada’s leading research university, the Dictionary of Old English (DOE) is an international effort to identify and define the vocabulary of the beginnings of the English language (CE 600–1150). A pioneer in the application of technology to lexicography, the DOE has made its scholarship accessible on the Internet and revolutionized how humanities research is done.

“The DOE is an outstanding international research project that The Salamander Foundation has been very pleased to support for well over 15 years. Old English provides the basic building blocks of the English language.  The DOE is already linked electronically with the Middle and Oxford English Dictionaries, and together they will give us a complete record of the most commonly spoken language in the world. The DOE is a unique project, and I hope that whoever is in a position to support it to the degree that they can, will do so wholeheartedly.”     

NAN SHUTTLEWORTH President, The Salamander Foundation


The University of Toronto is committed to building enduring relationships with our benefactors. All donors will receive a charitable tax receipt for the full amount of the donation. Recognition and benefits will be customized in consultation with the University, in appreciation of your generosity.

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Your donations are matched 1:1 by the Triangle Community Foundation. Thank you!


Niamh Earls
Senior Development Officer, Legacy and Leadership Giving
Faculty of Arts & Science

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