INS
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.

 

stapleford
 

Overview

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

Travel and Communication in Anglo-Saxon England

The Travel and Communications project is a three-year interdisciplinary research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust investigating travel and communications in Anglo-Saxon England.

The project, a collaborative venture between the Institute of Archaeology at University College London and the Institute for Name-Studies at the University of Nottingham, runs from November 2014 and teams archaeologists, historians, and place-name scholars.  The project team are working to reconstruct Anglo-Saxon England’s overland route-system (and its intersections with the riverine route-system) using textual, landscape archaeological, and onomastic evidence.

Despite its evident importance for understanding several aspects of Anglo-Saxon society, including warfare, commerce and polity formation and extent, the Anglo-Saxon routeway network has not previously been investigated in detail at the national level. There is therefore much that is uncertain about the routeway network during the period.

It has often been assumed that the Roman road network remained in use throughout the Anglo-Saxon period; consequently, travel in Anglo-Saxon England is often discussed in relation to the Roman road network. However, as the majority of the known Roman roads did not survive into use in the early modern period, it is highly likely that some of these roads went out of use during the Anglo-Saxon period. Conversely, some of the non-Roman roads in use by the early modern period may have come into usage during the Anglo-Saxon period.

By combining archaeological, place-name and charter evidence, the project will shed light on the routeways that were in use during the Anglo-Saxon period. This will be made publicly available in a GIS-generated Online Atlas of the Anglo-Saxon route-system.

 

The Staffordshire Place-Name Project

Work has recently begun to restart the county place-name survey for Staffordshire. The first volume of the English Place-Name Society survey was published in 1984 but its editor, J. P. Oakden, unfortunately passed away before any further volumes were completed.

The INS is now running a volunteer study group, based at the Staffordshire Record Office, which is collecting historic place-name forms from documents held in Stafford.

The project has been running since February 2017, with a regular group of volunteers meeting on a weekly basis at the Staffordshire Record Office. The project was launched with a study day on 4 February, and a second study day is planned in July. Data collected during the project will be used in the completion of the EPNS survey of Staffordshire.

The project has a website, Twitter feed and Facebook page which are regularly updated with news and information.

 

 

Flood and Flow Project

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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

Events

SNSBI Spring Conference 2019

Date
26 - 29/04/2019
Description
The 27th Annual Conference of the Society for Name-Studies in Britain and Ireland will take place at the University of Nottingham, 26–29 April 2019. The conference will open with a paper from John Beckett, Professor of English Regional History at the University of Nottingham, who has published extensively on the history of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands. On Saturday evening, the SNSBI will join with the Institute for Name-Studies to host the biennial Cameron Lecture. The lecture is held in memory of Prof. Kenneth Cameron, one of the foremost scholars of English place-names. This year's lecture will be given by Lesley Abrams, Emeritus Professor of Early Medieval History and Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, Honorary Research Fellow at the Department of Anglo-Saxon Norse and Celtic, Cambridge, and Honorary Professor in the Centre for the Study of the Viking Age at the University of Nottingham, who will talk about her work on Normandy's Scandinavian names. Paper and poster proposals on any aspect of name-studies in Britain and Ireland are welcome. Proposals should be sent to Dr John Baker by post (School of English, Trent Building, University of Nottingham, NG7 2RD) or email (john.baker@nottingham.ac.uk) by 28 February 2019.
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News

4 weeks ago

New jobs for Rebecca Gregory and Eleanor Rye

Description
The INS is delighted to announce that our two Honorary Research Fellows and former PhD students, Dr Rebecca Gregory and Dr Eleanor Rye, have recently been appointed to new academic jobs. Becca will take up a position as Teaching Associate in the School of English, University of Nottingham in Jaunary 2019 as part of the Applied English project. Ellie will be taking up a four-year position as Associate Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science, University of York, in December 2018. Congratulations Becca and Ellie!

Part 7 of the Place-Names of Shropshire and Journal 48 published

Description
Part 7 of The Place-Names of Shropshire, by John Baker with Sarah Beach, has recently been published. This is the first of the Survey volumes for Shropshire to be published as an outcome of the Place-Names of Shropshire project, a four-year collaborative venture between the Institute for Name-Studies and the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies (CAWCS) to complete the Shropshire Survey begun by Margaret Gelling. Volume 49 of the Journal of the English Place-Name Society has also recently been published. Members will receive these volumes in the post soon.
5 weeks ago

Winner of the Alfred Oscroft Essay Prize 2018 announced

Winner of the Alfred Oscroft Essay Prize 2018 announced
Description
The 2018 winner of the Alfred Oscroft Essay Prize for undergraduate work on place-names has been announced. Jasmin Higgs (University of Nottingham) won this year's prize for her project on Essex place-names. This year's runner-up is Katie Watson (University of the West of England), for her essay on South Gloucestershire street-names. Congratulations Jasmin and Katie!
This Year

Congratulations to Dr John Baker

Description
Congratulations to Dr John Baker, who has recently been promoted to Associate Professor in Name-Studies.

Vikings in the East Midlands: A Virtual Museum

Description
A new virtual museum which tells a regional story about the Vikings in the East Midlands.

18-05-2018-Dr-Rebecca-Gregory-Guest-Lecture

Description
Dr Rebecca Gregory, former PhD student and researcher at the Institute for Name-Studies, will be giving one of the guest lectures at the Minor Placenames Workshop organised by logainm.ie (17–18 May 2018).

03-02-2018-Northern-Names-talk

Description
Dr Eleanor Rye gave a talk based on her PhD research, completed at the Institute for Name-studies in 2016, at the Northern Names event organised by the Regional Heritage Centre, Lancaster University.

18-12-2017-New-Book-by-Dr-Rebecca-Gregory

18-12-2017-New-Book-by-Dr-Rebecca-Gregory
Description
Dr Rebecca Gregory's new book Viking Nottinghamshire, written as part of the 'Bringing Vikings back to the East Midlands' project, is now out.

Journal 48 published

Description
Volume 48 of the Journal of the English Place-Name Society has been published. EPNS members receive the Journal free of charge, and individual volumes can be purchased directly from the Society. Contents of this and previous volumes can be viewed on the Journal web pages.

Catch up on Viking Lectures & Exhibitions

Description
Enjoy our Viking events in the flesh or virtually!
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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
email: name-studies@nottingham.ac.uk