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Law and Corpus Linguistics Technology Platform

Last Updated: Aug 25, 2022 5:16 PM

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This database is freely available to the general public via the Internet.


This database allows legal researchers and scholars to examine large collections of historical texts to help determine the meanings of words and phrases in the contexts in which they historically were used.

The three major text collections include:

  • Corpus of Founding Era American English, a collection spanning 1760 to 1799 that contains nearly 100,000 documents from the founders, ordinary people and legal sources, and that includes letters, diaries, newspapers, non-fiction and fiction books, sermons, speeches, debates, legal cases and other legal materials.  This tool provides evidence of the original meaning of the Constitution.
  • Corpus of Early Modern English, a collection of over 40,000 texts from 1475 to 1800 that were included in the Evans Bibliography, the Early English Books Online (EBO), Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) corrected by the Text Creation Partnership (TCP) Evans Bibliography (University of Michigan).
  • Corpus of Supreme Court of the United States, a collection of all Supreme Court opinions in the United States Reports though the 2017 term (with the 2018 soon to be added). It includes over 130 million words from over 32,000 Supreme Court documents.

 “The Law and Corpus Linguistics Technology Platform features a user-friendly interface offering the ability to search these groundbreaking corpora by terms and phrases with filters for year, primary author, genre (legal or non-legal document, court proceeding, speech, diary entry, novel, etc.) and source. The corpora also support collocation searches, which enable the user to gain powerful insights into word meanings and relationships between words….”  (BYU Press Release).(Collocations are combinations of words that “co-occur more often than would be expected by chance.”)

More information is available here:

New Corpus Linguistics Platform Lets Legal Researchers Explore the Meanings of Words and Phrases

Dates Covered

Varies by collection. Please see description above.

Access Notes

Users need to log in. It is possible to use a gmail account for this purpose.


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Law Reference Librarians
Charles B. Sears Law Library
O'Brian Hall (North Campus)
SUNY Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260