Container-less Content? Not in This Digital Age.
Originally growing out of the Philological Society, the project passed through the hands of several editors before a polymathic schoolteacher, James Murray, took it on. The OED needed special methodologies to achieve the comprehensiveness of its end goal, a total survey of English. Simon Winchester, author of The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary, describes the system created by an earlier editor, Herbert Coleridge, who invented a standardized means of organizing words through a system of quotation slips. This was the dictionary's basis. He also built a series of pigeon holes for holding the inchoate dictionary with a capacity of 60,000 to 100,000 slips.