The well-respected Dictionary of American Regional English is facing funding problems -- just as it is about to go digital.

Editor Joan Houston Hall estimated it will take $250,000 to keep her staff throughout the year. She has issued layoff notices, effective July 1, according to a Wisconsin State Journal report.

The dictionary features more than 60,000 regional words compiled by University of Wisconsin Madison researchers over 48 years.

It will go online later this year. Hall said royalties from that venture would help close the funding gap, but that money won't come in until at least next year.

Hall is busy seeking new grant money from a variety of sources.