An English Dictionary of Runic Inscriptions in the Younger Futhark
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The dictionary

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May 2006

The pilot project has now come to an end. The dictionary database contains a complete list of the words found in Swedish runic inscriptions of the Viking Age, with basic grammatical information for each words as well as a simple English translation. Each entry also lists all the occurrences of the word in its various forms, in both normalised and transliterated form, and provides picture links where available. Around 100 words have been provided with more extensive definitions and bibliographical references.

When further funding is available, we plan to produce the fuller, discursive definitions and bibliographical references for all the words in the dictionary. A further phase of the project will extend the dictionary to Danish and Norwegian inscripitions, and medieval inscriptions.

November 2005

The British Academy has granted us an extension until 31 March 2006 to complete the pilot project. During this period we will be concentrating on ironing out some of the technical problems we have encountered with the searchable database, and we will continue adding draft definitions. All feedback is welcome, please email

August 2005

Ian Richardson has completed the searchable database which is now available in a test version on this website (here). This is based on Lena Peterson’s Svenskt runordsregister, with the addition of data from inscriptions found since that was published in 1994, and with links to online photographs of the inscriptions where available. The database currently has only basic definitions of most headwords, though more discursive definitions and bibliographical references are now available for a few words. These are being compiled by Jonathan Adams and will continue to be added to the database over the next few months. The database has also been constructed in such a way as to enable the inclusion of data from other, non-Swedish runic inscriptions, as the project develops in the future.

We say goodbye to the University of Nottingham’s Humanities Technology Officer, Dr Jennifer Edmond, who moves to a new job in Ireland. She has been crucial in enabling all the technical aspects of this project, including the design of the website, and we thank her for her contribution.

December 2004

We say goodbye to Kathy Holman, who has left the project, and thank her for all her good work so far. We are pleased to welcome Jonathan Adams in her place. Jon has just completed a PhD in Old Norwegian and Old Swedish and is currently based in Copenhagen.
Work completed so far: the database of Swedish Viking Age inscriptions which will form the basis of the searchable dictionary is now nearly complete, but still needs checking and proofreading. Work continues on collecting bibliographical information and drafting discursive dictionary entries.

August 2004

After a period of consultation over logo and web design, the Runic project website has finally gone live. Work continues on the electronic dictionary, with the basic structure and all of the headwords complete, and the rest of the information being entered in gradually.

March 2004

The Runic Dictionary project has received funding from the British Academy to support its work in the period 1 April 2004 - 31 August 2005. This funding will support a self-contained pilot project: An English Dictionary of Swedish Runic Inscriptions of the Viking Age. It is hoped that this will be the first stage in the creation of an English dictionary for all runic inscriptions in the younger futhark.


Page last updated:
5 May 2006

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