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I have used Google for many years, to search for phrases such as "party to the scene", but I have never used any other computerized databases.

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  • Search for 'corpus' or 'corpora' here to find many duplicates.
    – Mitch
    Sep 25 at 19:18
  • The OED has over 2 and a half million sentences, including all the possible constructions, idioms, transformations, and usages of every meaningful word in English; typically there are several thousand sentences (all dated and cited) for every word. You can request example searches for any word, up to all examples. Sep 26 at 22:04

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You could include

"project gutenberg"

in the search terms. Project Gutenberg is a repository for old texts that are not copyright. They have several formats to suit the readers' requirements, but they are all released in plain text and html, which makes them searchable.

For your example

"project gutenberg" "party to the scene"

brings up The Pagan's Cup by Fergus Hume (1902), wherein a text search finds

it was not necessary to hire vehicles to convey the party to the scene of revelry

and other hits. It also has its own search bar.

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