The Virtual Library of Virginia
Search the VIVA website:

VIVA Outreach Committee

The Outreach Committee promotes and publicizes VIVA and its resources and advocates VIVA's funding needs and the benefits that VIVA confers to appropriate agencies, organizations and legislative groups.



Oxford English Dictionary

The Virtual Library of Virginia

For Immediate Release (November 18, 2005)

VIVA, The Virtual Library of Virginia, is proud to announce access to the online Oxford English Dictionary (OED), 2nd Edition-which includes the 3rd Edition as it's being built-for all public and private non-profit higher education institutions in Virginia. Subscription was made possible through a combination of state funding and matching funds put forth by private institutions.

The OED is the foremost authority on the history of the English language, and is invaluable for determining the meaning, history, variant spelling, or pronunciation of words or phrases. It is updated quarterly, with at least 1,000 new or updated entries. The print equivalent is an impressive 20-volume, 21,730-page tome that includes more than 290,000 entries and 2.5 million quotations.

Since 1996, the University of Virginia has hosted VIVA's online edition of the OED 2nd edition for all VIVA institutions. The new subscription, available at, presents a merging of the 2nd and 3rd editions and includes additional functionality. The new OED offers a simple or advanced search interface, allowing the user to search for words in the full-text of the dictionary, or to narrow her search to words in quotations, definitions, etymologies or lemmas (words defined in the dictionary) while limiting by part of speech. Additionally, he can search the date, author, and work fields of quotations or 'first cited' entries. The OED also provides an excellent help file for novice users or users unfamiliar with this version.

Students and faculty alike will find the OED a fascinating and useful tool in their education and research. An English composition student seeking the history of the term 'rap music,' a graduate student in sociology searching for connections between words and discriminatory practices, and a linguistics faculty member researching Nordic origins of English words, would all find the OED incomparable. And for those of us who simply love words, the OED is pure delight. For in-depth articles about the history of the dictionary, see About the Oxford English Dictionary at

VIVA is a consortium of the libraries of 73 non-profit research or higher education institutions in Virginia, including 39 state-assisted colleges and universities at 55 campuses within the Commonwealth of Virginia, 33 independent private, non-profit institutions, and The Library of Virginia. VIVA's mission is to provide, in an equitable, cooperative, and cost-effective manner,enhanced access to library and information resources for Virginia's academic libraries serving the non-profit higher education community. VIVA is funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia through the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and by investments from participating institutions.

# # #

For additional information contact:
Katherine A. Perry
VIVA Director
George Mason University
Fairfax, Virginia 22030-4444
Tel: 703-993-4652




VIVA is funded by the Virginia General Assembly and the VIVA member institutions, and is sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV).