Around the same time that the NAD films were produced, three dictionaries of The Sign Language were published. Of the three authors, two were deaf. These dictionaries provided a platform for developing a companion database to the NAD films allowing us to conduct further comparative research into the signs in use at that time.

The Dictionary database allows you access to scanned pages of each dictionary through a SLRL Gloss designed to link related databases through a common and unique identifier for each sign.

1) You can look up individual concepts by typing in a GLOSS of the sign in which you are interested in the upper left side of the page below SLRC GLOSS. The search engine will produce a results page with all instances of that GLOSS in the dictionaries identifying the book it appears in along with the GLOSS each author uses. Clicking on the numeral on the extreme left of each sign will open a separate window with the text description from the dictionary, it’s location in the book and a scanned image of the sign if one exists. Additional notational information is included below the dictionary’s description.

Note: The results page will organize results in two ways, according to the SLRC Gloss and then according to the Author’s Gloss.

2) You can also look up the following information in a selected dictionary:

  • Click on the selected dictionary title to view a complete listing of all of the signs in that dictionary. This will open a separate window of the dictionary entries organized alphabetically by the Author’s Gloss. Clicking on the numeral on the extreme left of each GLOSS will open the text description of that sign as described in 1).
  • Click on the author’s name to view biographical information.
  • Click on the List of Signs button to view our compiled list of all signs in a particular dictionary.
  • Click on the Contents Organization button to view a summary of the types of information contained in a particular dictionary.

Click on Dictionaries Demonstration for a tutorial demonstration of how to navigate the early ASL Dictionary database.