The Birth of the Modern Detective Story (BMDS) Dataset

The Birth of the Modern Detective Story (BMDS) Dataset enables research on the evolution of detective fiction during a crucial period of its development. It comprises over 400 detective stories published between 1890 and 1920, provided in full text with relevant metadata and richly annotated for 61 categories related to the types of crimes, clues, and evidence represented in the story.

The background and motivations for the project are described in our paper for the 2022 Digital Humanities Paper (forthcoming).

The dataset is stored in this Github repository:

The project’s detailed Annotation Guidelines explain and define all 61 categories of annotation.

The BMDS project is co-led by myself and Simon Stern (Faculty of Law & Department of English, University of Toronto) and has been assembled through the tireless efforts of eleven student annotators since the spring of 2021.