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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

What’s in a name? Historians and Linguists need your help!

October 22nd  2013 sees the launch of a new website which hopes to harness the power of volunteers to record all the place-names of Wales as they appeared on Ordnance Survey maps at the end of the Victorian period. is a ground-breaking collaborative project, developed jointly by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, The National Library of Wales, University of Wales and the People’s Collection Wales.
Visitors to are being asked to study historic mapping of Wales, published by the Ordnance Survey between 1899 and 1908, and to record the location of all text shown on the maps; the names of towns, villages, woods, farms, rivers, springs, mansions - everything! There is even a competitive element to this mildly addictive process; the more place-names recorded by a volunteer, the higher their position in the Contributors’ Chart.

Dr. David Parsons, Senior Fellow on the Place-Names of Wales Project at the University of Wales said “We hope to use the power of online volunteers to capture historic forms of place-names, and also to tell us about modern variations or alternatives that are used locally. There is no software that can collect this information automatically, so we really need people to go online, register and help us out.”

Tom Pert, On-line Development Manager at the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to gather a massive amount of information very rapidly. Through this process the location of every mill, milestone, smithy and dock will be captured and used to enhance the National Monuments Record of Wales. Every volunteer will be helping us to create a complete record of the cultural landscape of Wales at the end of the Victorian period”.

Prof. Lorna Hughes, Chair in Digital Collections, The National Library of Wales said “This is a groundbreaking website, with Wales leading the way for the rest of the United Kingdom. Crowd-sourcing projects of this sort have proven very successful when used to gather information for astronomers or biologists. We are sure this project will prove to be equally successful, and will pave the way for further collaborative research and online volunteering projects in the future”.

Further Information:
Elin Hâf or (01970) 632471

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