Thursday, 27 April 2006

The OED, etc.

I wrote a post a year ago which began with a mention of rat’s testicles and a whale’s pizzle and went on to laud the virtues of The Oxford English Dictionary. Then, in June, I dealt with poo, pork scratchings and bonk, also with reference to the OED. Finally, a few months ago I wrote a fond and sad valedictory to this marvellous work, my subscription to its online version (£195 a year plus VAT) having expired.
Those who do not find the OED interesting may have been pleased to think that it will no longer be quoted here. These scrofulous degenerate louts—many with criminal records—will be disappointed, for from 1st April this year the online versions of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Grove Music Online, Grove Art Online, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, the Times Digital Archive and many other databases including the Oxford Reference Library and the mighty Oxford English Dictionary itself, all of which were formerly available only on subscription, can now be accessed FREE, and I can once again disport myself among the OED's half-million entries; talk about an embarrassment of riches.

This is the result of a landmark agreement under which 142 public library authorities in England have joined together for the first time to share the cost of a two-year national licence for a range of online publications, so that anyone with a ticket to a public library can simply get a PIN and use it to log on to these resources at home.


Ruth said...

If you know of any extension to the agreement that covers Irish libraries, this blogger would love to hear of it.

Tony said...

Alas no, Ruth, I can find no reference to any public library authorities other than English ones having made such an agreement. Why not start a campaign?