Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On the CAD

 [First posted 4/14/11. Updated 6/15/11. Updated 9/30/11]

With the announcement on April 13, 2011 of the appearance in print and online of last volume of the The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, the project is complete.
I am collecting here a variety of things most but not all of them open access, written about the CAD:

For a selection of the reporting on the completion of The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, see: News Roundup: The Completion of the Assyrian Dictionary

On Monday, June 6, 2011 2:00 pm, the Oriental Institute celebrated the completion of the Assyrian Dictionary with a symposium:
An Adventure of Great Dimension: A Conference Celebrating the Completion of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary (CAD)

Annual Reports of The Chicago Assyrian Dictionary Project

By Matthew W. Stolper, Professor,  The Oriental Institute and the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, The University of Chicago
(This article originally appeared in The Oriental Institute News and Notes, No. 129, May-June 1991, and is made available electronically with the permission of the editor.)

I. J. Gelb, Introduction, The Assyrian Dictionary, Volume 1: A, Part 1, pp. vii-xxi
(This article constitutes the Introduction to the first volume (A 1 - 1964) of The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (CAD))

Erica Reiner's history of the CAD: An Adventure of Great Dimension: The Launching of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary is available online

Biographical Memoirs: Erica Reiner, by Martha Roth, PROCEEDINGS OF THE AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY VOL. 153, NO. 3, SEPTEMBER 2009.
ERICA REINER was born 4 August 1924, in Budapest, to Imre,
a young lawyer, and Clara (née Ehrenfeld), both from well-to-
do modern Orthodox Jewish families. Erica and my mother,
Anna Reiner, close fi rst cousins, spent school vacations together either
in the country at my mother’s or in the city at Erica’s. My mother talked
about the elegance of Erica’s Budapest home—the Fräulein teaching
French and German to Erica and her sister, Eva; shopping at the best
stores; always the best schools. At university in Budapest, Erica studied
French literature and Semitics. Her father was by then a prominent
lawyer, and later a member of the Judenrat in the ghetto. Even during
the darkest days of 1944–45, when Jews were restricted and then pro-
hibited from public life, Erica refused to stop attending classes; she
simply removed her yellow star and went to lectures. Although many
members of the Reiner family, particularly of the older generation,
shared the fate of most Hungarian Jewry, many of Imre’s immediate
and extended family whom he had brought into the shrinking Budapest
ghetto (including my mother), survived long enough to see liberation.
In 1948 Erica received her licence from Péter University in Buda-
pest, and went off to Paris to continue her studies in French literature.
There she lived with her mother’s brother, Michel Gyarmaty, who was
the artistic director of the Folies Bergères. Michel’s apartment, like his
stage sets, was elaborate, gilded, and baroque, and he introduced Erica
to a new and exciting life in postwar Paris. In addition to giving her the
decorating and entertaining style for which Erica became famous at the
University of Chicago in Hyde Park, two important events in those
years shaped her life. First, when Erica realized that she and later her
family would not return to Hungary and that a career in French litera-
ture would elude her in Paris, she switched her studies to Semitic lan-
guages and linguistics, and began studying with Professor Jean Nou-
gayrol. Second, the twenty-four-year-old Hungarian beauty had a tragic
love affair. Her Spanish lover, an engineering student, eventually re-
turned to Spain; but he left her with a deep commitment to his Catholic
faith, which Erica made her own. As devout a Jew as she had been be-
fore, in Paris she turned her passion to Catholicism and remained a de-
vout Catholic for the rest of her life...

 In Memoriam Erica Reiner, 1924–2005 appeared in the Oriental Institute 2005-2006 Annual Report

Obituary from the University of Chicago News and Information Office: Erica Reiner, 1924-2005, Published Jan. 3, 2006


How We Wrote the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary
By Martha T. Roth, The University of Chicago
Journal of Near Eastern Studies, April 2010, Volume 69, Number 1 [hyperlinks added below], and is accessible online to subscribing individuals and institutions
With the final volume of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary (CAD) due for publication, it is time to set down the practices and norms of writing the articles followed by the past generations of Editors in order to assist future generations of readers in using the Dictionary. The history of the project has been told by I. J. Gelb in his “Introduction” to CAD A/1, published in 1964, and by Erica Reiner in her 2002 An Adventure of Great Dimension. Each of these two works, idiosyncratic and subjective, is important for understanding the personalities and decision-making of the formative years of the Dictionary. Yet the only published “guides” to reading the CAD are A. L. Oppenheim’s 1956 “Foreword” to the first published CAD volume and notes imbedded within a 1966 review by J. A. Brinkman. What follows, then, is based on the oral legacy passed on by Erica Reiner, and on a variety of documents, manuals, and files used by the Editors in Charge (A. Leo Oppenheim, Erica Reiner, and Roth) and especially by the manuscript Editors Richard T. Hallock (G, Ḫ), Elizabeth Bowman (D, E, I/J, Z, Ṣ), Marie-Anne Honeywell (Ṣ), Jane Rosenthal (A/1), Jean Eckenfels (B, A/2), Marjorie Elswick (A/2, K, L, M/1, M/2), Claire Lincoln, Peter T. Daniels (N/1, N/2, Q, S, Š/1, Š/2, Š/3), Julie Robinson (S, Š/1, Š/2, Š/3), Carol Meyer (Š/1, Š/2, Š/3), and Linda McLarnan (R, P, Š/1, Š/2, Š/3, T, Ṭ, U/W)...

The CAD was funded over the years by the federal governement.  See: Your Tax Dollars at Work

Chicago Assyrian Dictionary Featured on WFMT’s Critical Thinking

The University News office reported that just one month after its completion was announced in early June, the dictionary logged 100,000 downloads from the Oriental Institute’s website. The 21-volume Chicago Assyrian Dictionary Project, completed 90 years after the project began, was also the subject of a two-part discussion on WFMT’s Critical Thinking, hosted by University of Chicago alum Andrew Patner.
Editor-in-charge Martha Roth, the Dean of the Division of the Humanities, and Robert Biggs, a retired professor of Assyriology who has been working on the dictionary since 1963, spoke with Patner in late August and early September about this fascinating project.
To listen to Part 1, click here.
To listen to Part 2, click here.

There are many journalistic accounts of and comments on the CAD, notably Israel Shenker's piece Akkadians Had A Word for It in the May 21, 1978, Sunday New York Times Book Review [available online for a fee], republished as the essay A Gaggle of Dictionaries in his collection Harmless drudges : wizards of language--ancient, medieval and modern (Bronxville, 1979).

And of course, the CAD itself

The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (CAD) | List of volumes in print
  • Volume 1:1, A:1. 1964.
  • Volume 1:2, A:2. 1968.
  • Volume 2, B. 1965.
  • Volume 3, D. 1959.
  • Volume 4, E. 1958.
  • Volume 5, G, 1956 
  • Volume 6, H [het]. 1956.
  • Volume 7, I/J. 1960.
  • Volume 8, K. 1971.
  • Volume 9, L. 1973.
  • Volume 10:1, M:1. 1977.
  • Volume 10:2, M:2. 1977.
  • Volume 11:1, N:1. 1980.
  • Volume 11:2, N:2. 1980.
  • Volume 12, P. 2005.
  • Volume 13, Q. 1982.
  • Volume 14, R. 1999.
  • Volume 15, S. 1984.
  • Volume 16, S [tsade]. 1962.
  • Volume 17:1, S [shin]:1. 1989.
  • Volume 17:2, S [shin]:2. 1992.
  • Volume 17:3, S [shin]:3. 1992.
  • Volume 18, T. 2006.
  • Volume 19, T [Tet]. 2006.
  • Volume 20, U/W. 2010.
  • Volume 21, Z. 1961.
As well as:

Materials for the Assyrian Dictionary (MAD)

An earlier roundup on the CAD by me: Projects: The CAD [updated Sept 10, 2008]


Peter T. Daniels said...

There are articles by me in Oriental Institute News & Notes 2 (1973) and the Newsletter of the Dictionary Society of North America 6/2 (1982): 4-5, and a half-hour TV interview of Erica Reiner, Renee Gallery, and me conducted by Ranlet Lincoln, Dean of University Extension, for his weekly WTTW-Eleven program (some time during the period when his wife, Clare, worked at the CAD in the late 1970s).

--Peter T. Daniels (Manuscript Editor, 1976-1984)

Tim Cashion said...

It is possible (though not a certainty) that the WTTW Tape Archive still has a copy of the invue to which Peter refers. I'm not sure who's running the tape library now, but I can find out if somebody who is actually in Chicago is interested--maybe Bill Harms or Steve Camp?