Original Project Team

Principal Investigator and Director – Beth Rapp Young, UCF

Lead Editor – Jack Lynch, Rutgers University

Co-Principal Investigator – Carmen Faye Mathes, University of Regina

Co-Principal Investigator – Amy Larner Giroux

Senior XML Analyst – William Dorner

Programmer / Database Analyst – Connie Harper

XML Editor/Social Media Manager – Abigail Moreshead

Advisory Board

Robert DeMaria, Jr., Vassar

Mark Kamrath, University of Central Florida

Lynda Mugglestone, Pembroke College, Oxford

Allen Reddick, University of Zurich

Neil Weijer, University of Florida

Ian Lancashire, University of Toronto

Project Consultants

Marc Alexander, University of Glasgow

Jorge Fonseca Cacho, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Brian Grimes, Samuel Johnson Dictionary Sources

Rebecca Shapiro, New York City College of Technology

David-Antoine Williams, St. Jerome’s University in the University of Waterloo

Student Researchers and Volunteers

In addition to the people named in the grant itself; library staff at UCF, UF and ISU; and UCF’s Center for Humanities and Digital Research, this project has benefitted from the contributions of hundreds of other people. Most have been UCF students, but volunteers have also joined us across the U.S. and from Brazil, Canada, Portugal, and Spain.

A complete list of names is here.

Site Founder

Brandi Besalke


This project was made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this web resource do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

A transcribed, XML-encoded text of Samuel Johnson’s 1755 folio edition of A Dictionary of the English Language has been licensed to our project under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) by Ian Lancashire, editor, Lexicons of Early Modern English (LEME), the University of Toronto. We wish to thank our colleagues in Canada for their generous help. LEME anticipates release of its 1755 Johnson encoded transcription sometime in 2021.

Facsimile images were provided with support from the Digital Support Services Team at the University of Florida’s George A. Smathers Libraries..

Additional facsimile images were provided by the Warren N. and Suzanne B. Cordell Collection of Dictionaries at Indiana State University.

Author “bio-tweets” (brief descriptions of many cited authors) were written by Brian Grimes of and are used with permission.

The portrait of Samuel Johnson that appears on the project homepage is known as “Blinking Sam”; painted by Joshua Reynolds in 1755, the portrait is used courtesy of the Huntington Art Collections, San Marino, California.

The mezzotint portrait “Samuel Johnson” that appears in the top page banner, created by William Doughty in 1779 after Joshua Reynolds, is available from NGA Images, the National Gallery of Art website for digital images of works of art in the public domain.