Explore the 2024 Program

Sarah Ogilvie: The Dictionary People

The unlikely word lovers who shaped the Oxford English Dictionary

Sarah Ogilvie (photo credit Robert Taylor)
Thursday 23 May 2024
12.30-1.30pm
Event Code: 10
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Free, bookings required through Sydney Writers' Festival 

What do three murderers, Karl Marx’s daughter and a vegetarian vicar have in common? They all helped create the Oxford English Dictionary. 

Sarah Ogilvie’s The Dictionary People dives deep into previously untapped archives to tell a people’s history of one of the world’s most famous books, which has long been associated with elite institutions and Victorian men. Sarah traces the lives of thousands of contributors – from eccentric autodidacts to families that made word collecting their passion – who defined the English language.

Indulge your word nerdery with this world-leading linguist and lexicographer in conversation with host Phillipa McGuinness.
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State Library of NSW, Library Auditorium
Macquarie Street Wing, Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000