Joining the many reference works and databases the Sheridan Libraries now own or license through Brill is the Indo-European Etymological Dictionaries Online (IEDO). For someone who has always been fascinated by languages and the origins of words (as befits the Librarian for Classics, Comparative Thought and Literature, Jewish Studies, and Modern Languages & Literatures here at JHU), this database has been exciting to explore. One of the most compelling features of the IEDO is the ability to search across the 15 constituent etymological dictionaries, including those for Latin, Greek, Hittite, Tocharian B, and Proto-Germanic, all of which are fundamental to the the study of Classics, Near Eastern Studies, and Modern Languages and Literatures at JHU. A full list of the corresponding titles can be found here.

Whereas the process of searching the print editions of the dictionaries that comprise this database can be cumbersome, searching the IEDO is comparatively streamlined. For example, in researching the etymology of the Greek word ἄνθρωπος (anthrо̄pos, ‘man’, the basis of the English word ‘anthropology’) in the Etymological Dictionary of Greek, I was able to check a similar (but apparently unrelated) lemma in the Etymological Dictionary of the Hittite Inherited Lexicon (antuu̯aḫḫaš- / antuḫš- ‘man’) in a matter of seconds, which led me in turn to numerous scholarly articles on the respective etymologies as set out in the supporting bibliographies. Citations can be generated automatically and saved to a citation manager like Mendeley (though it should be noted that support for EndNote and RefWorks is currently lacking).

As JHU acquires and licenses more Brill online resources and as Brill expands the offerings in its collection of reference works, it may be possible to add even more resources to search in tandem with the IEDO and thereby increase the utility of what has already shown itself to be a capacious database. In the meantime, I invite you to give the IEDO a try and let me know what you think! In addition to the main database menu linked above, the IEDO can be found under the Classics, Dictionaries, German Language + Literature, Near Eastern Studies, and Russian + Eurasian Studies subject database lists for quick reference.