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  • March 20, 2013 - David Parsons

Welcome to My Place in Wales!

This site will act as a hub for a group of related projects concerned with recording and understanding the place-names of Wales. In its early stages it will bring together three sets of data: (1) all the names from the Ordnance Survey 6 inch to a mile maps, collected by the Wales 1900 crowdsourcing project; (2) a database of the earliest forms of all the historic settlement names in Wales, compiled at the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies; (3) the huge archive of place-name forms collected by Professor Melville Richards and held at the University of Bangor.

In due course it will be possible to search across all of this data by text, and some of it by map interfaces. The long-term aim is to add more and more to the collection, from maps, documents and oral collection. Interpretation, discussion and analysis of parts of the material will follow. Place-name records are an invaluable source for language, history, landscape and community in Wales. And the data will have other uses too: we are, in effect, constructing a huge historical index to the collections of the National Library of Wales, the records of the Royal Commission, etc.

We need your help! Wales 1900 is a crowdsourcing project – check out the link to see how you can help gather the data. And it is the tip of an iceberg. We are delighted to be working in conjunction with the Welsh Place-Name Society, which was established in 2011 with a view to promoting the study and preservation of the country’s place-names. The Society’s activities are described under their tab here; other projects are under development by one or other of the partners. If you have an interest in the place-name heritage of Wales, then do join in, either as part of one of the projects that we set up, or on your own initiative. You will shortly find details of how to submit data under the ‘Get Involved’ tab. You can do this simply as an individual, or we are happy to work with projects to tailor a data-form for particular source-material.

Welsh Place-Name Society

  • March 20, 2013 - David Parsons

The society, which aims to promote the study, understanding and preservation of the place-names of Wales, has recently (March 2013) received £60,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the project GWARCHOD – Enwau Lleoedd Cymru (Protecting the Place-Names of Wales). Over the next two years, members of the society will coordinate a number of local projects with communities around Wales aimed at collecting and recording the names of farms, fields, river pools, ruined cottages and much more. The data from these collections will be stored and curated at the National Library of Wales and will be accessible through this website.

To learn more visit the society’s website at:

http://www.cymdeithasenwaulleoeddcymru.org/?lang=en

 

Melville Richards Archive

  • March 20, 2013 - David Parsons

This database, containing over 300,000 recorded forms of Welsh place-names, represents the card collection of the late Professor Richards (1910–73). It was digitised at the University of Bangor between 1994 and 2004, with funding from the University of Wales Board of Celtic Studies and the Arts and Humanities Research Board; the task was brought to completion in an AHRB project led by Professor Hywel Wyn Owen. The collection is a treasure-trove of modern and historic forms: in due course we hope as far as possible to integrate information from the Archive with the other collections represented here so that it will be possible to search across all at once.

The archive is here:

http://bangor.ac.uk/amr/

Please note the ‘User Agreement’ screen which precedes access to the database.

Historic Place-Names of Wales

  • March 20, 2013 - David Parsons

This database, which will be published later in 2013, contains the earliest recorded forms of the 5000 places named in Melville Richards’ Welsh Administrative and Territorial Units (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1969). It is being prepared at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, and we are pleased to acknowledge the assistance – in the form of a database recreating the administrative links in WATU – given by Humphrey Southall (http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/).

Sample input screen from the database:

Map of Wales

Get Involved

  • March 20, 2013 - David Parsons

We want to collect the current and former names (and spellings) of places large and small across Wales. There is always more to find, and we need all the help we can get! Two of the projects described on these pages, under Wales 1900 and the Welsh Place-Name Society, need volunteers now. In addition we are designing data-entry forms which will soon appear on this site for those who wish to record and submit names from any local area or document. And we would be delighted to hear from anyone who has an existing collection and would like to contribute it – we can discuss the best format in which to do that.

To contact us please email enwau@llgc.org.uk.