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title page of 'A Dictionary of the English Language'

Dr. Johnson's Dictionary was the definitive guide to the English language for 150 years. This was the dictionary used by Jane Austin, Charles Dickens, and William Wordsworth. It is scholarly, colorful, and witty. Of the word "stammel," he simply writes "Of this word I know not the meaning."

Johnson's Dictionary is part of a strong collection of early dictionaries in the Rare Books Collection. The dictionary collection ranges from John Rastell's Terms de la Ley printed in London in 1527 to a first edition Black's Dictionary printed in 1891.





Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784
A Dictionary of the English Language
London, 1773