DSL Online makes available two older publications compiled during the 20th century and originally published in print:
- Scottish National Dictionary (SND, 1931-1976)
covering Scots from 1700 to the present day (Modern Scots).
- A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST, 1931-2002)
covering the language in use in Scotland from the twelfth century to 1700 (Older Scots).
Each of these was a monumental work of scholarship, and they are the most comprehensive Scots dictionaries available.
Together they comprise:
- 22 volumes
- 12,000 pages
- 79,000 entries
- 710,000 illustrative quotations drawn from 6,000 source texts.
From these sources, DSL Online was created in 2004, supplemented in 2005 (SND only) and revised in 2014 and 2022. It is the national repository of the Scots language, freely available online for all who wish to consult it. It continues to be revised and developed with the generous support of the Scottish Government, and is the essential research tool for anyone interested in the history of Scots, and for historical or literary scholars whose sources are written in Scots or may contain Scots usages.