How Many? A Dictionary of Units of Measurement
© Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Table of Contents
About the Dictionary
Using the Dictionary


The information in the dictionary comes from many sources, but the following reference works have been particularly valuable. I recommend them to anyone interested in further research on units. They should all be available in large university libraries.

R.D. Connor, The Weights and Measures of England. London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1987
A comprehensive and highly readable account of the history of weights and measures in England. Soundly disposes of some old misconceptions, based on careful examination of both documentary and archaeological evidence.
Mike Darton and John O.E. Clark, The Dent Dictionary of Measurement. London: J.M. Dent, 1994.
This work covers all kinds of measurement terminology, not just units.
H.G. Jerrard and D.B McNeill, A Dictionary of Scientific Units. 6th edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1992.
Covers both metric and non-metric scientfic units, including many obsolete units not included in this dictionary.
Ronald Edward Zupko, A Dictionary of Weights and Measures for the British Isles: The Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century. Philadelphia, American Philosophical Society (Memoir #168), 1985.
This detailed and comprehensive work provides both the official definitions and a listing of all known local variations. It covers Irish, Welsh, and Scottish units as well as English. It is essential for all historical research in which knowing the size of the units is important. If you can't find it, look for Zupko's earlier work, A Dictionary of English Weights and Measures from Anglo-Saxon Times to the Nineteenth Century (Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1968), which contains much of the same information for the English units. Zupko has also published dictionaries of traditional French and Italian units.

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All material in this folder is copyright © 2001 by Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Permission is granted for personal use and for use by individual teachers in conducting their own classes. All other rights reserved. You are welcome to make links to this page, but please do not copy the contents of any page in this folder to another site. The material at this site will be updated from time to time.

February 20, 2001