Dictionnaires d’autrefois

It’s not really fair to say I discovered the Dictionnaires d’autrefois page (on the ARTFL Project website) while working on this project because I relied heavily on it while doing my academic work, but it is definitely true that I have come to value it in a whole new way.  The Dictionnaires d’autrefois page includes 8 French dictionaries from 4 centuries:  Jean Nicot’s Thresor de la langue française (1606), Jean-François Féraud’s Dictionaire critique de la langue française (1787-1788), Émile Littré’s Dictionnaire de la langue française (1872-1877) and the Dictionnaire de L’Académie française 1st (1694), 4th (1762), 5th (1798), 6th (1835), and 8th (1932-5) editions.  This webpage allows you to search for one term in all eight dictionaries, though for this project, I mostly use the 1762 and 1798 editions of Dictionnaire de l’Académie française. Consulting a dictionary contemporary to the material we are cataloging is essential because it helps me pin down the definitions of words as they were used during the French Revolution.

Leave a Reply