Resource: Penn Parsed Corpora of Historical English

Reference Penn Parsed Corpora of Historical English
Date of Submission July 16, 2020, 10:26 p.m.
Status accepted
ISLRN 868-644-188-709-3
Resource Type Primary Text
Media Type Text, Software
Language English, Middle English (1100-1500)
Format/MIME Type text/html, text/plain
Size 152703 KB
Access Medium Web Download


Penn Parsed Corpora of Historical English was developed at the University of Pennsylvania and consists of running texts and text samples of British English prose from the earliest Middle English documents (1100 CE) up to the period of the First World War (1914 CE). This data set contains three corpora covering traditionally recognized periods of English:

* The Penn-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Middle English, second edition
* The Penn-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Early Modern English
* The Penn Parsed Corpus of Modern British English, second edition

Also included in this release are annotation guidelines and philological information for each corpus and the CorpusSearch 2 program, which allows users to search the data for words, word sequences and syntactic structure.

The Penn Parsed Corpora of Historical English were designed for students and scholars of the history of English, especially the historical syntax of the language. They have also been used by computational linguists for domain adaptation. See the Penn Parsed Corpora of Historical English homepage for more information about this project. Questions should be directed to beatrice AT sas DOT upenn DOT edu.


The texts are in three forms: plain text, part-of-speech tagged text, and syntactically annotated text. Annotations were manually reviewed for accuracy and consistency.

All data is encoded in UTF-8. The data files are presented as plain text, and all philological information as html. The parsed data are in Penn Treebank format.


This corpus was constructed under the direction of Anthony Kroch. The work was conducted by Ann Taylor, Beatrice Santorini, and Ariel Diertani (formerly Lauren Delfs).

Version 1.0
Creator Anthony Kroch
Distributor Linguistic Data Consortium
Rights Holder Anthony Kroch , Portions © 2020 Anthony Kroch, © 2020 Trustees of