From Books to Bytes: Turning Paper Dictionaries into Digital Format

When working on the Deutsches Wörterbuch, Jacob Grimm felt depressed by his life as a lexicographer. In the preface to the first volume, published in 1854, Jacob wrote:

“As if for days fine and tight flakes were falling down from the sky and soon the whole area is covered with vast snow I am quasi snowed in under the mass of words pressing towards me from all corners and crevices. Sometimes I want to get up and get rid of everything.”

Dorothea Grimm, his brother’s wife, observed Jacob and Wilhelm anxiously. They have to be liberated, otherwise they will get mouldy, she thought, watching them work on the dictionary from the early morning until late at night.

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