A couple of weeks ago I had dinner with a friend of mine who had done his PhD (in Philosophy) at the same time I had done mine. He is now in the financial sector, but keeps his creative mind active. His latest hobby, he announced, was learning Old English.
What surprised me was that, although he had been searching for a while, he said that he was really disappointed with the level of provision of online materials for Old English. Of course, my hackles went up a little - OE really isnt my area of expertise, or even passing acquaintance - but surely the DH peeps into OE and Medieval studies must have made something that was available for learners, that was decent?
Let not the good name of DH be besmirched! I cried. I shall prove you wrong!
First port of call for me was twitter. Within a few hours, I had been pointed to various resources, from various scholars - none of which my friend had been able to find on a Google search.
- http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6072484486 for online teaching resources for Old English (via @hurricaneally)
- The electronic beowulf CD-ROM (via @dougreside)
- teachers upload Beowulf guides & other Old English resources to Woruldhord community collection http://projects.oucs.ox.ac.uk/woruldhord/ (via @RunCoCo)
- recommend search for Stuart Lee Old English lectures on iTunesU & Oxford podcasts http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/ (via @ltgoxford)
- Peter Baker's electronic intro to OE: http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/resources/IOE/index.html (via @Rwelzenb)
- Not sure how accessible it is: http://www.wordloca.com/ (via @iridium)
Sometimes, I just love twitter. How else would I have been able to find these things in such a short time, with so little effort on my part apart from a 140 character question?
Then, of course, there's DH Questions and Answers, which I've just posted the question to to see if I've missed anything else. Again - what a resource! Populated by both experts and newbies - all of them enthusiasts.
Thanks, DH people. I feel like we've not only disproved a criticism, but also highlighted the helpful nature of our community.
My friend thanks everyone for the pointers. And said: "I really must join twitter!".