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Arcade on the Quad

The Stanford Dictionary Lab is a research initiative that applies qualitative and quantitative analysis to the study of dictionaries and languages around the world. The Lab is open to Stanford students, professors, and collaborators beyond. In the spirit of digital humanities, many of our projects are collaborative and apply digital tools and methods (such as text analysis, data visualization, network analysis, graph theory, and machine learning) to dictionary data in order to ask new questions and create new knowledge.

Research at the Lab focusses on three main areas: research on the languages of the world by analyzing dictionary data; research on general lexicography and lexicology relating to all languages; and research on the history and creation of the Oxford English Dictionary. Often called ‘forensic dictionary analysis’, this methodology combines statistical, textual, contextual, and qualitative analyses to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of language, and the making and reception of dictionaries.

We welcome collaborations on any language of the world, so please get in touch with the Director, Dr Sarah Ogilvie (sogilvie at, if you have an idea for a collaborative project relating to the analysis of dictionaries and language.


The Dictionary Lab acknowledges generous support from Stanford University Libraries, Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research, Office of the Provost of Stanford University, Roberta Bowman Denning Fund for Humanities and Technology, Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis, Spatial History Lab, Humanities + Design, Center for Interdisciplinary Digital Research, Stanford Linguistics Department, and Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.