Besides housing a library of published lexicographical and onomastic resources, the English Language Research Centre houses primary research collections.
For archival reasons, portions of some collections are stored in
MUNFLA, and some
in the ELRC. Significant collections are listed below.
The central and largest research collection in the ELRC consists of the lexical files compiled for the Dictionary of Newfoundland English. This was begun in the late 1950s and remains an active project to this day.
The DNE collection consists of over 100,000 slips and cards,
each containing an example of a local word in its actual usage, or
a commentary on a word by the dictionary’s editors and
contributors. This collection is currently being digitized as part
of Memorial University's Digital Archives Initiative
A second large collection stored in the ELRC involves local toponymy. It consists of various components brought together by E.R. Seary in the 1960s, and since the 1970s, by W.J. Kirwin and R. Hollett. Documenting place-names throughout the province, the toponymy collection includes detailed investigations of many local areas. Associated with the toponymic materials are manuscript research files, tape-recordings, and maps.
A third component of the ELRC is the Newfoundland and Labrador proverb and proverbial speech collection, originally begun by G.M. Story in the late 1960s. In the 1990s this collection was partially digitized; the original card file for Story’s proverb index is stored at MUNFLA. Dr. Faith Balisch of the English department is currently updating the proverb materials.
A fourth research component of the ELRC is Seary's family names collection, much of which appeared in Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland (1976; corr. edition 1998). The family names collection (specifically, the set of secondary worksheets) is housed in MUNFLA, with supplementary materials (including unsorted and unanalysed primary work sheets) available in the ELRC.