On 25 Jan 1913, on p. 102 of The Athenaeum no. 4448 there appeared among the notices headed ‘Literary Gossip’ the following brief paragraph:
A memorial will shortly be presented to the Council of the British Academy, urging the need for an adequate dictionary of mediaeval Latin, based on the best authorities and compiled on modern scientific principles, and suggesting that the meeting of the Historical Congress in London in April next will afford an opportunity to invite historical scholars of all countries to co-operate in its preparation. Mr. Robert J. Whitwell has already secured a weighty list of signatories, and invites any scholars who wish their names to be added to communicate with him as soon as possible at 70, Banbury Road, Oxford. The scheme is certainly one which deserves the support of all serious students of mediaeval life.
In among sundry notices concerning matters such as arrangements for meetings of the English Association and the fifth Charles Lamb Dinner, this seems to be the first published trace of the proposal that was eventually to lead to the work of the DMLBS project.
You can read more about the history of the DMLBS on our website and sign-up for information about our forthcoming conference in December to celebrate this centenary.
If you know of any earlier references to what became the DMLBS project, we would love to hear from you.