Garden Studios in 1878.

Garden Studios in 1878.

Historical garden studios research has uncovered another little known garden studio worker.  The Murray Scriptorium Studio space was purpose built in the grounds of a school to complete a singular massive project of literary importance; commissioned by James Murray, editor of the new English Dictionary from the Oxford University Press.

Already a member of school staff, Murray was invited to capture every word in the English spoken world, encompassing all shades of meaning.  It was a daunting project and would require a concentrated effort and determination over many years to source words, meanings and begin the compilation of a single volume.

In preparation for the work, Murray built a shed in the grounds of the School, called the Scriptorium, to house his team of assistants as well as the flood of paper slips (quotations explaining the use of words to be used in the dictionary) which started to flow in. As work progressed on the early part of the dictionary, Murray took the decision to give up his job as a teacher and become a full time lexicographer.

In the end, the school erected a more permanent structure in memory of his feat, called thereafter, The Script’.  It is now used as both an IT centre and a study space.  Sounds like an inspiring place to work!  What a great opportunity for the pupils.

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