In the days before computers, writing a dictionary was a laborious job. Lexicographers worked from boxes of handwritten paper slips on which were written suggestions for revising existing definitions, adding new entries or senses, or making corrections. If you needed to consult another dictionary entry in order to check something, you had to get the book off the shelf and look it up, or rifle through piles of paper proofs.
Computers changed all this. Dictionaries are now stored in complex, highly structured databases which enable lexicographers to work much more quickly and efficiently, with access not only to the text on which they are working, but to multiple other dictionaries at the same time… continued