The “Mittelhochdeutsche Wörterbuch (MWB)” was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) from 1994 until 1999. In 2000 the project was taken over by the Academies of Mainz and Göttingen. The research is carried out in three office sites: in Göttingen (since 1994), Trier (since 1994), and Mainz (since 2011). The project's aim is to cover Middle High German vocabulary from the period of 1050 to 1350 according to current lexicographical standards and to describe it in its systematic structure and its temporal, regional, and text-specific distribution in a representative manner.
The dictionary is based on a corpus of philologically reliable editions of all types of texts from the entire period. This includes sources from the fields of spiritual literature, charters, legal texts, and non-fiction in addition to poetic works on the one hand, and on the other hand evaluates works of the Early Middle High German period and the literary and linguistically outstanding works of the post-classical period which have been receiving less attention in previous MHG lexicography. For the first time, the new dictionary provides a balanced overview of the conditions of use and the development of meaning of the entire Middle High German vocabulary. It closes the gap between the Old High German and Early New High German dictionaries and serves as a reliable aid for research into the German language of the Middle Ages and for the understanding and philological indexing of Middle High German texts.