Project partners

Eleven institutions will be involved in the network, including Coventry University, who are leading the project. The network will draw on recent developments in a range of disciplines which use correspondence collections as a primary data source. These relevant fields include Corpus Linguistics and the Digital Humanities, History and Historical Sociolinguistics. Each of the eleven institutions will contribute to and benefit from the network’s recommendations for the digitising and marking-up of letter collections. We anticipate that participants will contribute to capacity building within these institutions by disseminating workshop outcomes to junior colleagues and research students. 

The institutions are:

Università Degli Studi di Bergamo, Italy (Professor Marina Dossena) Рis developing 'A Corpus of Nineteenth-century Scottish Correspondence', which comprises both business and familiar letters, especially by/to emigrants.

University of Bergen, Norway (Professor Kevin McCafferty) - together with Dr Carolina Amador at the Universidad de Extrenadura - are developing a Corpus of Irish English Correspondence (CORIECOR).

Coventry University, UK (Professor Hilary Nesi and Emma Moreton) – specialise in corpus development and analysis and are currently working with two letter collections: the correspondence component of the BT Archive (part of the JISC-funded BT Digital Archives Project) and a collection of emigrant letters held at the University of Missouri.

Niall O’Leary was Project Manager for the Digital Humanities Observatory, Ireland, a research project of the Royal Irish Academy and part of the Humanities Serving Irish Society (HSIS) initiative. The Digital Humanities Observatory developed DHO: Discovery, a portal to collections of Irish cultural artefacts. More details of these projects can be found at

Glucksman Ireland House, New York University, US (Patrick O’Sullivan) – former Head of the Irish Diaspora Research Unit.

University of Helsinki, Finland (Professor Terttu Nevalainen) - developed the Corpus of Early English Correspondence (CEEC).

The Immigrant History Research Centre (IHRC) at the University of Minnesota, US (Professor Donna Gabaccia and Dr Sonia Cancian) – the Digitizing Immigrant Letters Project (2008 - present) aims to collaborate with a wide variety of institutions in North America and abroad in order to create digital archives of letters written between migrants and their loved ones, to provide their translations into English and promote research of migrant correspondence across disciplines - in accordance with the Center's mission to promote interdisciplinary research on international migration, develop archives documenting immigrant and refugee life, especially in the United States, and make specialized scholarship accessible to students, teachers, and the public.

The Mellon Centre for Migration Studies (CMS) (Dr Brian Lambkin and Dr Patrick Fitzgerald) - CMS houses the Irish Emigration Database which includes 4000 letters by/to Irish emigrants. A new interface was recently created for the resource as part of the AHRC-funded project 'Documenting Ireland: Parliament, People and Migration'. Dr Johanne Trew, University of Ulster, is also an associate of the CMS and will be contributing to the research network.

University of Missouri, US (Professor Kerby Miller) - writes extensively on issues surrounding Irish migration and holds an archive of Irish emigrant correspondence containing well over 5,000 letters dating from the late 17th to mid 20th century (see:

Universität Paderborn, Germany (Professor Joachim Veit and Peter Stadler) Рare conveners of the TEI Correspondence SIG and have been involved in several funded projects relating to the markup of letter collections (see:

Universiteit Utrecht, the Netherlands (Dr Anita Auer and Mo Gordon) – together with Tony Fairman (independent scholar) and Professor Mikko Laitinen, Linnaeus University – are currently encoding and annotating a collection of correspondence written during the Late Modern English period, to create the corpus 'Letters of Artisans and the Labouring Poor'.

Other contributors:

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain (Luis Espinosa-Anke, PhD Student) - Luis is currently working on the implementation of a range of methods for automatic text processing, looking, in particular, at historical correspondence.

Dickinson College, US (Professor Marcelo Borges) - Marcelo is developing a corpus of 19th and 20th century Portuguese migrant correspondence. The project explores the narratives of “call letters” used at the turn of the twentieth century by Portuguese migrants to ask their wives and children to join them abroad.

Professor Michael Ellis from Missouri State University and Professor Michael Montgomery from the University of South Carolina are developing the Corpus of American Civil War Letters, which currently contains over 6,000 documents.