School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Cookson Archive

Cookson Archive

The initial impetus for this archive came from a grant awarded in 1994-1995 to the former Department of English Language from the Catherine Cookson Foundation.

The main aim of this grant was to set up an archive for the preservation of Tyneside and Northumbrian dialect materials.

In particular, it aimed to salvage the reel-to-reel tapes originally created during the 'Tyneside Linguistic Survey' (TLS).

This was conducted in the late 1960s and early 1970s under the direction of Professor Barbara Strang (with assistance from Joan Beal, Anthea Fraser-Gupta, Val Jones, John Local, Vince McNeaney, Graham Nixon and John Pellowe).

The grant allowed the original tapes to be transferred to audio-cassette format and they were catalogued and archived in a specially designated room in the Percy Building.

Janet Lamb was engaged as a research assistant on this project and she completed the tasks listed above.

The remainder of the grant was used to pay Alison Furness to carry out orthographic transcriptions in electronic format from the new audio cassettes.

In addition to this dataset, the archive has a wide range of materials relevant to the study of Tyneside and Northumbrian Dialect.

These include:

  • index card transcriptions of the TLS
  • TLS coding scheme
  • published and unpublished materials in manuscript and other formats relating to the TLS and to the dialects of Northern England
  • manuscript and DAT materials relating to the 'Phonological Variation and Change in Contemporary Spoken English' project
  • Master's and Doctoral Theses on Tyneside and Northumbrian dialect
  • manuscripts and DAT tapes relating to the Newcastle Electronic Corpus of Tyneside English project

Our sponsor, Dame Catherine Cookson, sent a letter of thanks (PDF: 122KB) for the work done to collate this archive.