VU-DNC: VU Diachronic Newspaper Corpus


VU-DNC is a unique diachronic corpus of Dutch newspaper articles from five major Dutch newspapers from 1950/1951 and 2002 (2 MW). The VU-DNC has been annotated for quotations, which enables the researcher to differentiate between the words directly under responsibility of the journalist.


VU-DNC contains two news subcorpora, one containing old newspaper texts from 1950 and 1951 from five major national Dutch newspapers, and one containing new newspaper texts from 2002 from the same five newspapers. The articles originate from the front page, domestic news, foreign news, financial news, culture, opinion, sports, and science sections from Algemeen Dagblad, NRC Handelsblad, de Telegraaf, Trouw and de Volkskrant (1950/1: 931,574 words, 3615 texts; 2002: 971,059 words, 3003 texts). The texts from 1950 and 1951 were scanned, using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), from original paper copies; the 2002 texts were extracted from the international newspaper database LexisNexis.
The VU-DNC has been developed at the Department of Language and Communication, Faculty of Arts, of the VU University, under supervision of prof.dr. Wilbert Spooren, an accomplished researcher in discourse studies, with many years of experience in using and compiling corpora, such as the VU-chat-corpus. Kirsten Vis was responsible for the compilation of the VU-DNC, from the design and compilation criteria to the actual realization of the corpus.
The VU-DNC makes it possible to address a variety of research questions on diachronic change. From a historical perspective, developments over time within and between the five major newspapers can be better addressed, e.g. were the differences between the type of news events the major newspapers reported on greater in the more segregated society of the 1950s than they are now? From the perspective of communication and media studies, research questions into the diachronic changes in journalistic practice can be better addressed, for example questions regarding the framing of the news: do journalists nowadays use different framing devices than in 1950? From a (historical) linguistic perspective, research questions can be answered that address the recent linguistic developments in Dutch news, varied over type of article or section and/or newspaper. For example: has the language use in newspapers become more subjective, is there a difference in this development between hard news texts and other types of texts, and is it stronger in popular newspapers than in so-called ‘serious’ newspapers?

  • Project leader: 
Prof. dr. W. Spooren (VU University Amsterdam)
  • CLARIN center: Institute for Dutch Lexicology (INL)
  • Help contact
: n.a.




CLARIN centre

Dutch Language Institute


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