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Bible in Basic English Collection

Date range: 1931-1955

Medium: Archive

A small collection of papers relating to the Bible in Basic English. Basic English was a simplified form of English devised by the scholar Charles Kay Ogden (1889-1957) in the 1920s; it was used primarily to teach English as a second language. Basic English comprised only 850 standard words and 16 verbs.

In 1930s, Ogden began a project to compose a Bible in Basic English. Most of the work was this project was undertaken by Samuel Hooke (1874-1968), Professor Emeritus of Old Testament Studies at the University of London. The New Testament was completed in 1941, with a complete Bible being published in 1949.

The archive comprises primarily correspondence between Ogden, Hooke, and others involved in the project, including the publishers of the Bible, Cambridge University Press. It includes information on how Basic English terminology was chosen for the Bible, and the plans for promoting this Bible to a diverse range of audiences.

Further information:

Catalogue available online via ELGAR.


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