The DMLBS started to collect the necessary evidence in the same way as the Oxford English Dictionary, with volunteer readers combing numerous works, published and unpublished, for interesting words, and writing the quotations illustrating these on slips. The quotations show the relevant word used in context, from which its meaning and other relevant usage information can be inferred. Almost all our entries are based on the hard work of these many contributors over many decades.
More recent publications have also been ‘slipped’, and we are now also able to call upon electronic databases and searchable online editions to fill any gaps in coverage. (The early slip-takers were encouraged to concentrate almost exclusively on vocabulary that was new in the medieval period and on words used in new senses. The Dictionary, however, seeks to present a complete picture of the vocabulary of British Medieval Latin, including inherited words and meanings.)
Before their use in the Dictionary, quotations are rechecked by the editorial team against their sources to ensure that they are accurate and that their meaning and significance have been properly identified.