Versions of the Thesaurus

The classification and base data of the Historical Thesaurus of English database has evolved and changed over the forty years of the project. The current database version is 4.2, released in September 2014. The print edition, published in 2009 as the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary, was version 1.0, and the version first distributed for research beginning in March 2013 was 2.0. We list below the major revisions.

As the changes involve substantial alterations to category numbering, we strongly recommend that any publications or research using the Historical Thesaurus indicate the version number of the database which is being used in that research, as a matter of good practice. (As stated above, if you are using the print version then that is known as version 1.0.)

We presently anticipate no further substantial revisions to the hierarchy.


Version 2 to Version 3:

Moving some categories and removing the need for "00" categories:

Main alterations in categories formerly beginning 01.01.05 (Water) et seq., 01.02 (Life) et seq., 01.03 (Physical Sensibility) et seq., 01.04.02 (Chemistry) et seq., 02.06 (Refusal/Denial, now et seq., (Goodness and Badness, now 02.06.01/02) et seq., 03.07 (Faith) et seq., 03.09 (Travel/travelling) et seq., and 03.11 (Leisure) et seq.

Version 3 to Version 4:

A major reorganisation, involving two substantial operations:

Major structural alterations, particularly in the creation of 01.03 Health and disease (previously 01.02.01) et seq., 01.04 People (previously 01.02.07) et seq., 01.05 Animals (previously 01.02.06) et seq., 01.06 Plants (previously 01.02.04) et seq., 01.07 Food and drink (previously 01.02.08) et seq., 01.08 Textiles and clothing (previously 01.02.09 and 01.02.10) et seq., 01.09 Physical sensation (previously 01.03) et seq., 01.10 Matter (previously 01.04) et seq., 01.11 Existence and causation (previously 01.05.01-01.05.04) et seq., 01.12 Space (previously 01.05.07) et seq., 01.13 Time (previously 01.05.06) et seq., 01.14 Movement (previously 01.05.08) et seq., 01.15 Action (previously 01.05.05) et seq., 01.16 Relative properties (previously 01.06) et seq., 01.17 The supernatural (previously 01.07) et seq., 02.01.15 Philosophy (previously 02.03) et seq., 02.02 Attention and judgement (previously 02.01.15,, 02.01.16-18, 02.04) et seq., 02.03 Goodness and badness (previously 02.06 in 3.0 and in pre-3.0; see above) et seq., 02.04 Emotion (previously 02.02) et seq., 02.06 Possession (previously 02.07) et seq., 02.07 Language (previously 02.08) et seq., 03.05 Law (previously 03.04.13) et seq., 03.06 Morality (previously 03.05) et seq., 03.07 Education (previously 03.06) et seq., 03.08 Faith (previously 03.07) et seq., 03.09 Communication (previously 03.08) et seq., 03.10 Travel and travelling (previously 03.09) et seq., 03.11 Occupation and work (previously 03.10) et seq., 03.12 Trade and finance (previously 03.10.13) et seq., 03.13 Leisure (previously 03.11) et seq.. There are now 37 rather than 26 level two categories.

In addition, this change involved a renaming operation which affected approximately 40% of what are now level 3 category headings.

Version Numbers

Below are the major revisions to the Historical Thesaurus database, with minor internal versions omitted.

  • v0.1 – Raw data
  • v0.2 – dBase files (designed by Irené A. Wotherspoon and Flora Edmonds)
  • v0.5 – Excel files in small clusters for use (managed by Flora Edmonds)
  • v0.6 – Excel files in small editing clusters for updates (managed by Flora Edmonds and Marc Alexander)
  • v0.7 – Excel files in large final-editing clusters (managed by Marc Alexander), July 2008
  • v0.9 – Preliminary research version (designed by Marc Alexander), October 2008
  • v0.10 – Proofreading version (managed by Marc Alexander), November 2008
  • v1.0The Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary (the print version, published by Oxford University Press), June 2009
  • v1.1 – Version with HTOED print changes and layout changes (designed by Marc Alexander), October 2009
  • v1.2 – Data corrections from later proofreading (managed by Flora Edmonds), February 2011
  • v2.0 – Field changes, structural operations, and field clarifications for research purposes (designed by Marc Alexander), March 2013
  • v2.3 – Major structural changes into a relational structure (designed by Marc Alexander/Brian Aitken), September 2013
  • v3.0 – Category renumbered version (managed by Marc Alexander/Brian Aitken/Christian Kay), June 2014
  • v3.1 – Thematic dataset added (designed by Marc Alexander/Brian Aitken/Fraser Dallachy/Christian Kay), July 2014
  • v4.0 – Category renumbered version (managed by Marc Alexander/Brian Aitken/Fraser Dallachy/Christian Kay), August 2014
  • v4.1 – Field changes and internal alterations (managed by Marc Alexander/Brian Aitken), August 2014
  • v4.2 (current version) – Revised thematic dataset (managed by Marc Alexander/Brian Aitken/Fraser Dallachy/Christian Kay), September 2014

Version Number Converter