Helsinki Corpus of Scottish Correspondence (1540-1750)



The Helsinki Corpus of Scottish Correspondence comprises circa 0,5 million words of early Scottish correspondence by male and female writers dating from the period 1540-1750. Unlike the majority of digital resources available for historical linguistics at present, the corpus consists of transcripts of original letter manuscripts, which reproduce the text disallowing any modernisation, normalisation or emendation. Language-external variables such as date, region, gender, addressee, hand and script type have been coded into the database. The writers originate from fifteen different regions of Scotland; these can be grouped to represent the areas of North, North-East, Central, South-East, and South-West. In addition, there are two categories of informants that have not been defined by geographical origin: representatives of the court and professional people such as members of the clergy. The proportion of female informants in the corpus is 21 per cent.

It should be noted that the compiler’s copyright only applies to the annotated transcripts of the letter manuscripts. The copyright of the source manuscripts lies with their repository or, in some cases, with private owners. The original manuscripts used to compile ScotsCorr are deposited in the National Records of Scotland and the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, UK, and, as regards the right to reproduce or to publish the manuscript sources of the historical documents themselves, the user should contact these institutions for more information.

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