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.




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


Please visit us again soon for more upcoming events.


Last Year

Catch up on Viking Lectures & Exhibitions

Enjoy our Viking events in the flesh or virtually!

Postgraduate open day 2017

Postgraduate open day 2017
Booking now open. Find out more about our courses, meet staff and students, explore funding and tour our fantastic facilities and campus!

Viking Events in 2017-18

Viking Events in 2017-18
Many Viking events to look forward to in 2017-18.

Midlands3Cities PhD funding stream opens

Up to 80 open awards and 6 collaborative awards available. Deadline 15 January 2018.

Winner of the Alfred Oscroft Essay Prize 2017 announced

Winner of the Alfred Oscroft Essay Prize 2017 announced
The first winner of the Alfred Oscroft Essay Prize for undergraduate work on place-names has been announced. Congratulations to Ruut Korpinen (Nottingham), who won this year's prize for her project on Suffolk place-names!

English is one of the top ranked subjects for graduate earnings after five years

English is one of the top ranked subjects for graduate earnings after five years
University of Nottingham graduates earn above average salaries according to new data.

City Names series launched

The English Place-Name Society is pleased to announce the launch of a new series of place-name books: the Your City's Place-Names series

Call for Papers - Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland Spring Conference

The Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland is seeking contributions to its annual spring conference, to be held in Blackwaterfoot, Arran, from 6–9 April 2018.

INS members present at International Congress of Onomastic Sciences

?Members of the Institute for Name-Studies gave papers at the International Congress of Onomastic Sciences, which was held in Debrecen, Hungary from 27 August to 1 September 2017.

Viking Congress in Denmark

CSVA members Judith Jesch, Christina Lee and Eleanor Rye will be presenting at the 18th Viking Congress in Copenhagen and Ribe, Denmark, in August.
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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
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