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The only open corpus of personal names of which I am aware is the Names Corpus by Mark Kantrowitz and Bill Ross (which can also be found in the Python Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK)).

It is much better than nothing, but it is fairly small, fairly old (last updated in 1994), and seems mostly to contain English or Western names.

Are there any other open corpora of personal names that are currently used or suitable for use in computational linguistics? Preferably tagged by language or region.

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  • N.B. There are several websites with substantial, edited lists of personal names (e.g. www.20000-names.com ), but I have not yet found any with an open content license. In some cases, no copyright info is given at all. – user11091 Dec 18 '15 at 13:19
  • This isn't to be construed as advice, but I believe that a pure list of people's names would not be covered by copyright. It's similar to how the phone book isn't copyright (as it's a series of facts, someone else who compiled the same list would get the same details and it has no "creative" input) – Neil Jul 12 '19 at 13:57
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I suggest getting all the persons from Wikipedia. You can use a wikipedia dump and the category system to extract the person names.

For the German Wikipedia, there is a tool and an interface to browse person names here: https://tools.wmflabs.org/persondata/

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  • Interesting suggestion. It would be nice to have something that's already been professionally vetted/edited/tagged, but that's a reasonable Plan B. – user11091 Dec 18 '15 at 13:17

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