Thesis
My interest in corpus linguistics developed when I studied for a Master's in Translation (2002-2003) at Dublin City University. My thesis, titled The Corpus as Field Knowledge Resource for Professional Translators: An Evaluation of Creation and Exploitation with Particular Reference to the World Wide Web, was based on  a 500,000-word corpus of macroeconomic reports harvested largely from EU and bank websites in the form of PDF files and analysed using WordSmith software.

Workshop and article
In 2006, Mary Ellen Kerans and I developed a corpus workshop that was piloted in Canet del Mar (Barcelona) in July 2006. Here we recruited Stephen Waller, a financial translator, as a third workshop facilitator. The workshop, now called Corpus-Guided Translation and Editing of Specialist Texts, was further refined and improved in subsequent workshop sessions and conferences and, in July 2008, we published an article describing in detail our highly practical corpus-guided approach in the online Journal of Specialised Translation-JOSTRANS.

Nowadays ....
Very large corpora can be easily built, even online, where one can build what are typically called quick-and-dirty (Q+D) or ad hoc corpora. A further development has been online initiatives such as PERC and Springer Exemplar specialist corpora.

Concordancer output: query to a rock mechanics corpus

Corpus resources
General language: British National Corpus (GB), Collins Cobuild (GB), Corpus of Contemporary American English (US)
Specialist language: PERC and Springer Exemplar
Resolving language problems (examples): Tim John's Kibbitzers  
Desktop concordance software: AntConc  
Online Q+D corpus builder: BootCaT