Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing (CMSW)

(Provisional entry based on project homepage.)

Project leaders:John Corbett, Jeremy Smith

Size: 5.5 million

Language:Scottish English
Period: 1700-1945
Project home page:

Funding: CMSW is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), which funds postgraduate training and research in the arts and humanities, from archaeology and English literature to design and dance. The quality and range of research supported not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK.

The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing (CMSW) is an electronic corpus of written and printed texts from the period 1700-1945, complementing the Helsinki Corpus of Older Scots (1450-1700) and the Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech (1945-present day). CMSW contains over 350 documents, containing approximately 5.5 million words of text overall.

CMSW’s documents range from printed novels, to written correspondence, to newspaper and magazine articles, to legal material such as wills and sasines. Our documents have been sourced from partners such as the Mitchell Library in Glasgow, the National Library of Scotland, and Glasgow University Archives.

All our documents are assigned a year group (1700-1750, 1750-1800, 1800-1850, 1850-1900, and 1900-1945). Year groups are decided based on a document’s date of publication (if printed), and of writing (if handwritten); if this date is unknown, we have assigned a year group based on our best estimate. Documents are also classified as belonging to one of nine genre groups (administrative prose, expository prose, personal writing, instructional prose, religious prose, imaginative prose, journalism, and orthoepists).

Reference line and copyright

© Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing

Glasgow University


  • Professor John Corbett, Principal Investigator
  • Professor Jeremy Smith, Co-Investigator