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The users of MSU Libraries now have online access to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Widely recognized as the most comprehensive and authoritative guide to the development of the English language ever published, the OED is an indispensible tool for MSU’s faculty and students.

The acquisition of the OED Online comes as a result of the Libraries’ ongoing commitment to meeting the needs of MSU’s researchers. Containing entries for over half a million words, the OED is a historical dictionary which provides an unparalleled guide to the meaning, usage, pronunciation, spelling variants, and etymology of words used by English speakers from around the world and throughout history.

Previously, the Libraries’ users only had print access to the twenty volume set of the Second Edition of the OED, which is shelved in Mitchell Memorial Library’s Reference Department. With the Libraries’ acquisition of the OED Online in October 2007, MSU researchers now enjoy quick and seamless online access to this resource at the time and place of their choosing.

The OED Online features significant enhancements over its print counterpart. As the OED undergoes its first revision since 1928, quarterly updates consisting of over 1,800 new and revised word entries are made accessible exclusively to the users of the OED Online. In addition, the OED Online enables MSU researchers to perform sophisticated searches that utilize Boolean operators, wildcards, and limiters to designated fields, such as quotation, part of speech, and first cited date.

According to Noel Polk, Professor of English at MSU, the Libraries’ acquisition of the OED Online is “very exciting news for humanities researchers across campus.” Polk adds that, “With the acquisition of the OED Online, the ability of MSU scholars to study the development of the English language has been greatly enhanced.”

To explore the OED Online, visit the MSU Libraries’ website and select the Indexes/Databases option. For questions about this or any of the Libraries’ resources, be sure to Ask-A-Librarian.

About MSU Libraries:

Mississippi State University Libraries is a premier research library providing its communities of users an ongoing, creative, technologically advanced library program that provides new and emerging technologies; enhances and inspires teaching, research, and service of the highest caliber in an environment of free and open inquiry and with a commitment to excellence. For more information about MSU Libraries, please visit .

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