Many who met Orton said that he had a driving passion for his subject. In the early part of his career, he was nicknamed "the phonetic fanatic". During the Survey of English Dialects, he worked even on Christmas Day
An overview of Orton's career was published by Craig Fees in 1991 as the first part in a series on dialect and folk studies. In the same year, Fees wrote a strongly-worded defence of Orton against those who had criticised his work.
Orton, Harold (1930). The Phonology of a South Durham Dialect, London.
Orton, Harold (1971). Editorial Problems of an English Dialect Atlas. In: Burghardt, Lorraine H. (ed.): Dialectology: Problems and Perspectives. Knoxville: Univ. of Tennessee, 79-115.
Orton, Harold and Eugen Dieth (1952), A Questionnaire for a Linguistic Atlas of England. Leeds: Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society.
Orton, Harold and Nathalia Wright (1972). Questionnaire for the Investigation of American Regional English. Knoxville: University of Tennessee.
Orton, Harold and Nathalia Wright (1975). A Word Geography of England. New York: Seminar Press.
Orton, Harold et al. (1962-71). Survey of English Dialects: Basic Materials. Introduction and 4 vols. (each in 3 parts). Leeds: E. J. Arnold & Son.