Visit Us | Contact Us | Membership | Make a Gift | Calendar | Order Online | What's New

Print this Page

Home > Research > Publications > Annual Reports > 1995-96 Annual Report

The Chicago Assyrian Dictionary


Martha T. Roth

The 1995/96 academic year saw several major changes at the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary Project (CAD), the lexicographic project that began at the Oriental Institute in 1921 and had its first volume published in 1956. The Editorial Board of the project was reorganized in 1995 to include Professors Robert D. Biggs, Walter Farber, Martha T. Roth, and Matthew W. Stolper in addition to Professors John A. Brinkman, Miguel Civil, and Erica Reiner. The Editorial Board continues to contribute to the high quality of the final product.

In January 1996, Professor Erica Reiner retired. She had been with the dictionary project since the first volumes were produced under the editorship of the late A. Leo Oppenheim, and had been the Editor-in-Charge since 1973. Professor Reiner continues her participation in all aspects of dictionary production but now will devote most of her attention to her own research and publications. Professor Martha T. Roth, who has been with the dictionary project since 1979 and Associate Editor since 1986, now takes on the day-to-day operation of the project as Director and Editor-in-Charge of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary.

We also reorganized and reconfigured some of our physical space in response to the Oriental Institute's space needs during this crucial period of building and renovation and with an eye to efficient production of the dictionary volumes. First, Roth exchanged offices with Professor Matthew Stolper, leaving Room 319 (which had been the office of the late A. Leo Oppenheim) for Room 325 (originally the "manifold" room for preparation of file cards). Second, Room 320, which had been the CAD Research Associates Room for decades, was turned over to archaeological laboratory use. To accommodate personnel, therefore, there are now three desks for Research Associates in Room 324 (formerly the office of the late I. J. Gelb, and more recently the CAD Library Room), for which we made space when John Larson, the Oriental Institute Museum Archivist, completed archiving the Gelb papers that had remained in Room 324 since Gelb's death in 1985. We reorganized, cataloged, and repaired the materials formerly kept in Rooms 319 and 320, which included Oppenheim's private library, the CAD project's private library, the offprint collections of the late Abraham Sachs and A. Leo Oppenheim, and manuscripts and files crucial for production of the dictionary. All the CAD materials, files, manuscripts, and active staff are now consolidated into three adjoining interconnected rooms at the northeastern corner of the third floor: Roth's new office (325), the Dictionary Room (323), and the Staff and Library Room (324).

While reconfiguring our work space, we kept to our production schedule, simultaneously progressing on several volumes. Eisenbrauns, the printer of the R Volume, has sent us all the first galleys (829 pages), and we have returned about half to be set as second galleys; Eisenbrauns is already producing second galleys. The galleys for the R Volume are read by the members of the Editorial Board, as well as by outside consultants and in-house proofreaders.

Final editing of the P Volume occupied Professors Reiner and Roth, and they have finished editing most of the volume. The edited articles are prepared for final checking, which begins July 1996.

A third volume, T, is also in press. We have returned all first galleys (802 pages) to the printer, J. J. Augustin. Approximately half the first galleys have been returned to us as second galleys, and we have been returning second galleys to Augustin to be set as page proofs. The steady production of all these volumes is overseen by the Manuscript Editor, Ms. Linda McLarnan.

During this past year we have been ably assisted by three visiting scholars, Professor Hermann Hunger of the University of Vienna, Mr. Remigius Jas of the Free University of Amsterdam, and Ms. Raija Mattila of the University of Helsinki. Professor Hunger is a longtime collaborator on the project; he is an expert on astronomical and scientific texts and most recently author with the late Abraham Sachs of the three-volume Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia . Professor Hunger joined us again for the summer of 1995 and wrote draft articles for the U/W Volume, read the manuscript for the R Volume, and lent his expertise to the P Volume. Mr. Jas, whose Neo-Assyrian Judicial Procedures just appeared, was here until the end of 1995 when he left Chicago to join a three-year project in Leiden, The Netherlands, researching Nuzi real estate ownership and use. Mr. Jas helped with the proofs of the R Volume, helped update the P Volume, and wrote draft articles for the U/W Volume. Ms. Mattila arrived in January 1996 from the State Archives of Assyria Project in Helsinki and has sorted out problems in the R Volume galleys, proofread the R Volume second galleys, and has helped ready the P Volume for checking.

Mr. Tim Collins, a Ph.D. candidate in Assyriology, began working as a part-time research assistant for the project in January 1996. In addition to doing bibliographical research, he has verified references for the P and R Volumes and has helped proofread the P Volume. We have also been aided by undergraduate students participating in the College Research Opportunities Program, who perform various lexicographic and clerical tasks for the Dictionary. Ms. Rachel Dahl, a Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations major, Ms. Allison Carmody, a Linguistics major, and Mr. Jason Kemper, a Jewish Studies major, all worked for the project in 1995/96.

Our staff and space reconfigurations coincided with reorganizations at the National Endowment for the Humanities, and we spent the last weeks of the 1995/96 year preparing a new grant application. With continued funding and support, we expect to maintain our steady progress toward publication of the final volumes of the Assyrian Dictionary.

Revised: February 7, 2007

Home > Research > Publications > Annual Reports > 1995-96 Annual Report