A New Life for an Old Dictionary: Notes on Digitizing the Dictionary of Russia

I was a PhD student just finishing my thesis when my doctoral studies advisor, Professor Viktor Kabakchi, a grey-haired Russian scholar with many years of university teaching experience, invited me to take part in updating his brainchild  – The Dictionary of Russia. The first print edition of this dictionary about Russian cultural terms in English, which was published more than 10 years ago, required a thorough editorial revision. My excitement to meet new challenges as well as new perspectives in life knew no bounds.

However, at the time I didn’t have the slightest idea what to start with in order to digitize a print dictionary and produce its electronic version. To my great joy, the eLex 2013 Conference in Tallinn, organized by the Institute of Estonian Language and the Trojina Institute of Applied Slovene Studies shed some light on my understanding of what e-lexicography is. But that was only a mere introduction to the field.

Soon afterwards, I was lucky to start discussing the digitization of The Dictionary of Russia with K Dictionaries from Tel Aviv, who agreed to run the project and provide all the necessary technical support and guidance. I wrote this post to share with you some personal notes on a retro-digitization project taken by someone who is not a computer geek.  So please do not expect find too much ‘technical stuff’ in it, as my idea was to give an overview of the main milestones and show where we have come by now. Continue reading A New Life for an Old Dictionary: Notes on Digitizing the Dictionary of Russia