Institute for Name-Studies
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Welcome to the INS

The Institute for Name‑Studies (INS) is the home of research into place‑names and personal names at the University of Nottingham.

The English Place‑Name Society (EPNS) is the established national body for the subject; its offices and library are housed in the Institute.



Arts and Humanities Masters studentships for 2017 entry

Deadline for applications: 25 April 2017



The INS was established as an umbrella organisation for the research activities of the EPNS and name-studies scholars at the University of Nottingham.

The INS conducts numerous research projects into the origins and meanings of names and place-names, derived from English, Norse, British Celtic, French, and Latin languages. It also provides high-quality resources for both the study and analysis of place-names, which are used by historians, linguists, and geographers alike.

There are many study opportunities relating to the INS for higher education students of all levels

Current Research

The Place-Names of Shropshire

This project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), will bring to completion a long-term study of Shropshire place-names begun by Dr Margaret Gelling, former president of the EPNS and one of the subject's leading exponents of the last fifty years.

Before her death in 2009, Gelling had published around half the county in five volumes, with a sixth almost complete and now published. In six further volumes, we aim to cover the remainder of the county and to provide a full introduction to the completed survey.

The Place-Names of Shropshire project began in January 2013 and is set to run until January 2017. It is a collaborative venture with the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies (CAWCS), University of Wales.

The survey will be published by the EPNS.


Study With Us

Interested in name-studies? The INS at the University of Nottingham is a leading specialist in the study of place-names and personal names.

Students can specialise in name-studies at undergraduate,
masters, and doctoral level


Staffordshire History Day

The Staffordshire Place-Name Project will be at the Staffordshire History day in Stafford on Saturday 6 May 2017.

27-08-2017-ICOS 2017

27-08-2017-ICOS 2017
27/08/2017 - 01/09/2017
?The XXVI International Congress of Onomastic Sciences will be held from 27 August–1 September 2017 in Debrecen, Hungary. Members of the Institute for Name-Studies will be presenting papers.
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3 weeks ago

SNSBI Spring Conference 2017

Members of the INS attended the Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland annual spring conference in Milton, Oxfordshire.

John Baker elected member of the SNSBI committee

Congratulations to Dr John Baker, who was nominated and accepted as an Ordinary Member of the committee of the Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland.

Dr Carroll and Dr Baker elected Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries

Dr Carroll and Dr Baker elected Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries
On 16 February 2017, Dr Jayne Carroll and Dr John Baker of the Institute for Name-Studies were formally admitted as Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Staffordshire Place-Name Project launched

?An exciting new volunteer project has been launched in conjunction with the Staffordshire Archives and Heritage Service to restart collection of Staffordshire place-name material for use in the EPNS county survey.
5 weeks ago

English at Nottingham in the global top 50 subject ranking

School of English achieves 49th position for English Language and Literature in the QS World University Rankings by Subject.
This Year

The Place-Names of Leicestershire, Part 7

Part 7 of The Place-Names of Leicestershire, by Barrie Cox, is now available.

Journal 47 published

The 47th volume of the Journal of the English Place-Name Society is now available, and has been distributed to EPNS members. It contains peer-reviewed articles and reviews of publications which may be of interest to the society's members.

Research Scholarship funding for MA and PhD students for 2017/18

Research Scholarship funding is available from the School of English for Masters and PhD students for 2017/18 entry.

Bringing Vikings Back to the East Midlands

The CSVA receives funding to support a British Museum Vikings exhibition coming to Nottingham in November.
Last Year

PhD opportunity working with manuscripts and special collections
New PhD studentship in the Faculty of Arts to study our manuscripts and special collections.

Gelling and Cole photos now available online

Photographs of landscape features taken by Margaret Gelling and Ann Cole are now available online.

AHRC PhD funding application deadline: 16 January 2017

Applications for Midlands3Cities Doctoral Partnership AHRC funding for commencement of PhD study in 2017 are now open. Choose from three workshops in November to assist with your application.

School of English scores 94% in NSS 2016

School of English scores 94% in NSS 2016
The University of Nottingham's results for the 2016 National Student Survey (NSS) are in. The results are the University's best to date and its strongest year-on-year improvement since the NSS began in 2005. School of English scored 94% for 'overall satisfaction'.

New article by Dr John Baker

An article by John Baker, 'Old English s?te and s?tan', has been published in the latest volume of the Journal of the English Place-Name Society. This article surveys the use of these elements, especially in plural compounds, and examines their distribution.

67th International Sachsensymposion

Some of the 'Travel and Communication in Anglo-Saxon England' team will be attending the 67th International Sachsensymposion in Antwerp, Belgium. Andrew Reynolds will be presenting an overview of the Travel and Communication in Anglo-Saxon England project, and Eleanor Rye will be talking about place-name evidence for travel in the early medieval Humber region.

Journal 46 published

The 46th volume of the Journal of the English Place-Name Society is now available, and has been distributed to EPNS members. It contains peer-reviewed articles and reviews of publications which may be of interest to the society's members.

Norfolk Slip Collection Report

Thanks to the kind support of Jim and Mary Ann Wilkes we have been able to undertake research to investigate if the collection of material in the library of the English Place-Name Society relating to Norfolk will support the writing-up of a dictionary of Norfolk place-names. This generous donation has enabled Ellen Fisher to spend a month working through the archive, assessing its scope and coverage, under the supervision of Dr Paul Cavill, and we are delighted to be able to report on the results.

Leeds IMC

The INS had a session at this year's International Medieval Congress, entitled 'Productive Ground: place-names and the landscapes of food provision'. It was chaired by Jayne Carroll and featured papers by Rebecca Gregory, Eleanor Rye and John Baker.

Congratulations to Dr Eleanor Rye!

Ellie Rye graduated with a PhD in English Studies on 12 July.

Appointment of Peter McClure as Honorary Professor of Name-Studies

The INS is delighted to announce the forthcoming appointment of Dr Peter McClure as Honorary Professor within the Institute for Name-Studies.
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School of English

The University of Nottingham
Nottingham NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5919
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 7526