Celtic & Scottish Studies

Scottish Place-Name Survey

The Scottish Place-Name Survey has several collections of place-names culled from oral and manuscript sources by interested and well-informed members of the public.

Blau's Edinburg Map Detail

These collections, covering various parts of Scotland, were submitted to the Archives of the School of Scottish Studies during the latter years of the twentieth century. The place-name tapes relating to the collections are housed in the Sound Archives while the maps and paper records can be consulted in the Survey itself in 29 George Square. Work is currently being undertaken on the unique field-name survey which is an important part of this collection. A pilot study of entry of field-name data into the Scottish Place-Name Database is under way in cooperation with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. A member of staff in the Place-Name Survey is also actively liaising with the Shetland Place-Name Project where the database has been in use for some time.

Place-name information has also been excerpted from various published records, such as the Register of the Privy Seal and Edinburgh Burgh Records, and is available for consultation on a paper archive held in the Survey. There is also an extensive collection of books on place-name topics in the Survey and in the main School of Scottish Studies library. Plans for adding to this collection include work in progress on a dictionary of Caithness place-names.

Ian Fraser with the Blaeu Atlas in a Scottish Ethnology 2 class

Onomastics courses are part of the Scottish Ethnology teaching programme. Students are given an introduction to Scottish topography and are encouraged to undertake case studies on place-names in their own home area or in parts of Scotland which are of interest to them. These projects are lodged in the Archives and form an important body of student research.

Scottish Ethnology undergraduate course information