From its beginnings as the hobby of a dedicated Scottish schoolmaster to its modern day position as the foremost English dictionary in the world, the Oxford English Dictionary has set the standard by which all other English dictionaries are judged. In 1857 it was agreed that a systematic investigation and recording of words in all their aspects and on historical principles should form the basis of a new dictionary. It was only twelve years later with the appointment of James A.H. Murray that the idea became reality. After settling in London, Murray began to communicate his discoveries in languages and dialect to the Philological Society. Based At Mill Hill School, he built the first Scriptorium, working there until 1885 when he was persuaded by the Delegates of the Oxford University Press to devote himself to the Dictionary on a full-time basis. The second Scriptorium was built in Oxford and the Dictionary grew until its completion in 1928, thirteen years after the death of its greatest editor. But the story does not end there. Supplements appeared in 1933 and in the 1970s and early 1980s. Finally, the most comprehensive and up-to-date edition of the Oxford English Dictionary was published in 1989. More than half a million words are defined in the Dictionary, including all those added between 1972 and 1986 together with five thousand more new words. The Dictionary's authoritative definitions are supplemented by nearly two and a half million quotations illustrating the evolution of the language. History lesson, compendium of dialect and meaning, the Oxford English Dictionary sustains the unique vision and method of its dedicated founder.