Concept Analytics Lab uses a range of text datasets. These usually come as collections of texts curated for a purpose of a given research. We also have bespoke expertise in working with text collections housed at Sussex University, i.e. the Old Bailey proceedings, Mass Observation Project, and Mass Observation Archive.
The Old Bailey Proceedings are fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London’s central criminal court between 1674 and 1913.
The Mass Observation Project (MOP) is a unique national life writing project about everyday life in Britain, capturing the experiences, thoughts, and opinions of people. Launched in 1981, the MOP is the major repository of longitudinal qualitative social data in the UK. Each year the project issues open questionnaires known as Directives to a panel of hundreds of volunteer-writers nationally (known as Observers). The narrative responses to these directives can be seen as a form of collective autobiography, an autobiography of a nation, which is stamped with detailed information of each contributor-observer. The MOP differs from other similar social archives because of its focus on voluntary, self-motivated participation. The Observers can be thought of as reporters or ‘citizen journalists’ who provide a window on their world, the word of a contemporary society.
If you are interested in what we can do as experienced analysts of the Mass Observation Archives, please get in touch to discuss. We are also seeking alternative datasets to expand our analysis onto a wider baseline, so please contact us if you have an text that could be analysed.
We identify conceptual patterns and change in human thought through a combination of distant text reading and corpus linguistics techniques.