Frontispiece from Bailey's Dictionary 1772. Expanded illustrated edition by Joseph Nicol Scott.
Libraries Receive Edward Bloustein's Historical Dictionary Collection
Federal government analyst, law school professor, and eighteen-year president of Rutgers University
(1971-1989) during a period of tremendous growth, Edward Bloustein (1925-1989) was known as a man of
words - an eloquent speaker, a thoughtful writer, and an engaging leader. So it is fitting that one
legacy President Bloustein leaves at Rutgers is his collection of hundreds of English language
dictionaries of historic scope and breadth, recently donated by his daughters Elise and Lori to the
Libraries' Special Collections and University Archives.
The Bloustein Dictionary Collection features a copy of one of the first known published English
language dictionaries, a bilingual Latin-English word list entitled Thesaurus Linguae Romanae et
Britannicae published in 1573 by Thomas Cooper. A multilingual dictionary with authors' quotations for
further elucidation, The Guide into Tongues by John Minsheu, was published less than 50 years later
and is also represented in the Bloustein collection.
One of the colorful background stories of the history of lexicography (the field of study that
examines the practices involved in writing dictionaries) is that rivalries often spurred the
development and publication of well-known dictionaries. The Bloustein collection contains several
representations of such competitive works of scholarship:
- copies of Thomas Blount's Glossographia, or A dictionary interpreting all such hard words ...
as are now used in our refined English tongue (1656) and Edward Phillips' Modern world of
words, or, A Universal English dictionary, collected from the best anchors (1658);
- copies of Nathaniel Bailey's An Universal etymological English dictionary (1721), the first to
provide stress marks to show pronunciation and usage information, and Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of
the English Language (1755), noted for the scientific thoroughness with which it was compiled;
- copies of Noah Webster's A Compendious dictionary of the English language (1806), his later, more
expansive volume The Dictionary of American Language (1828), and Joseph Worcester's A Comprehensive
pronouncing and explanatory dictionary of the English language, with pronouncing vocabularies of
classical and scripture proper names (1830).
The Bloustein collection also features copies of the first edition of the authoritative Oxford English
Dictionary (1928), the Imperial Dictionary published by John Ogilvie (1850), the first to feature
inline woodcut illustrations, and other significant dictionaries.
The Bloustein dictionary collection is accessible to Libraries users by visiting the New Jersey
Reading Room of Special Collections and University Archives, located in the lower level of Alexander
Library. The Rutgers University Libraries are grateful to Elise and Lori Bloustein, daughters of Ruth
and Edward Bloustein, for contributing this collection of value and great significant to the field of
lexicography to Special Collections.
Libraries Respond Compassionately in Charitable Campaign
We're pleased to report that almost 22% of the New Brunswick Libraries community pledged more than
$8,800 to the 2005 New Jersey State Employees Charitable Campaign. The majority of those participating
in the Campaign pledged funds by payroll deduction, which will begin with the first paycheck of 2005.
Contributions to the New Jersey State Employees Charitable Campaign support the many, diverse
organizations in New Jersey committed to helping people and communities experiencing a variety of
devastating needs. Thanks to Marilyn Wilt, Campaign Coordinator for the Libraries, and to her campaign
solicitors: Rachael Goldman; Shirley Peck; Matt Spaventa; Georgina Alonzo; Paul Young; Arden DeLaCruz;
Caryn Radick; and Amelia Killough.
Position Open in the New Brunswick Libraries
The New Brunswick Libraries seek qualified candidates for the professional position of Information
Literacy/Instructional Technology Librarian, APP 162.
for the full position profile.
Contributors for this issue were Mary Gerber, Jeffery Triggs, and Marilyn Wilt.
Contributions for future issues of The
Agenda should be sent to Harry Glazer, editor, at