MELD corpus files

This page contains A Corpus of Middle English Local Documents, with all accompanying materials

Published Updated on

MELD 2017.1

Compiled by

Merja Stenroos, Kjetil Vikhamar Thengs and Geir Bergstrøm

with the assistance of

Anastasia Khanukaeva, Delia Schipor and Kenneth Solberg-Harestad


How to cite us

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License

The Corpus files

The four versions of the corpus are all available as downloadable zip archives. Please download the version(s) that you wish to work with.

The first instalment of MELD 2017.1 (Jun 2017) contained the material for 11 counties (shown in blue on the map). The latest instalment (Dec 2020) has added another 8 counties (shown in green). NB that the Concordance version and the Descriptive Catalogue have not yet been updated. The Corpus will be substantially updated and expanded in January - March 2021.

The Base version consists of the 'raw transcriptions' as .txt files. This version preserves our own coding and commentary, and gives the fullest information about the text as it appears in the manuscript. It may be used as a reference version for checking detail when working with the other versions.

The Concordance version consists of .txt files designed to be analysed using a concordancing programme or other corpus analysis software. This version is tailored to suit a particular freeware concordancing programme, AntConc, but may be used with other programmes as well.

The Readable version corresponds to a traditional edition and is meant for reading rather than digital searching. It does not reproduce quite the same detail as the Base version, but retains line division, punctuation and capitalisation. It is produced as .html and .pdf files (the latter will be added soon).

The Diplomatic version is similar to the Readable one, and is also meant for reading, but rather than representing abbreviations as 'expansions' in italics, it reproduces them iconically. The fonts are provided with the version and should be kept in the same folder.

The accompanying materials

The MELD Corpus is accompanied by an Introduction, a Manual, a descriptive Catalogue and a spreadsheet providing searchable metadata.

The MELD Introduction explains the thinking behind the corpus and outlines the compilation principles, as well as the categorisation system developed during the project

The Manual describes the sampling, transcription conventions and presentation of the corpus, including detailed descriptions of the four versions.

The Descriptive Catalogue contains entries for each corpus text, with information about dating, localization, content, physical and historical context.

The Searchable Catalogue consists of a simple table of metadata, provided both as an Excel sheet and as a comma-separated text file. A key to the conventions is provided in a separate file (to be added).

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