Denseman on the Rattis

Formerly known as the Widmann Blog


The beginning of the end of an era

A full set
Originally uploaded by Vaultboy

Today it was announced that Chambers Harrap in Edinburgh are shutting down.

They have been producing dictionaries in Edinburgh for more than a century, but now it’s over.

The monolingual dictionaries (“Chambers”) will move to London, but the expertise isn’t moving with them, so I reckon they’ll just be republished without changes for a few years until they can be removed completely from the market.

The bilingual dictionaries (“Harrap”) will move to Larousse in Paris, where I guess they have a decent chance of surviving for a few years.

This leaves Collins as the only major dictionary publisher in Scotland.

According to the article I linked to above, Chambers Harrap have been “affected by the steep decline in the sales of dictionaries and reference books as people move away from print to go online where they can get their information, for the most part, free of charge”.

Surely this also affects the other dictionary publishers, so will today’s announcement be followed by equally bad news about the other famous dictionary publishers within a few years?

It’s a sad day for all of us who have given years of our lives to the dictionary industry.

One thought on “The beginning of the end of an era

  • It’s a sad day indeed. People are going to internet for almost everything nowadays. The newspaper industry is another industry that is failing miserably as well. People don’t want to pay for something that they can get for free.


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