Leonie Dunlop, Ph.D. candidate, University of Glasgow
Welcome to onomastics.co.uk! This exciting new resource has been created to promote all research and interests within onomastics, provide more opportunities for researchers to have work featured online, and help create and develop research networks within the field.
The website was founded by postgraduate researchers Alice Crook and Leonie Dunlop at the University of Glasgow, with assistance from Line Sandst (University of Copenhagen). The site was developed by Scott McGready, who kindly donated his time and expertise. Our thanks go to him, to Professor Carole Hough* for writing the material for the homepage, and to the Scottish Place-Name Society for funding advertising costs.
Alice Crook has recently completed her Masters on ‘Personal naming patterns in Scotland, 1700 – 1800: a comparative study of the parishes of Beith, Dingwall, Earlston, and Govan’ and took a lengthy four-day holiday before starting her PhD which will continue with the study of Scottish personal names.
Leonie Dunlop is in the second year of her PhD with the working title ‘Breaking old and new ground: An analysis of Anglo-Saxon lexis in the assarting and redistribution of land in four Berwickshire parishes’ and is endlessly transcribing historical documents.
Scott McGready is a Glasgow-based IT consultant and programmer. In his spare time, he
stupidly kindly donates his time to needy onomastics students, lured only by the promise of a bottle of whisky.
You are currently on the ‘Feature’ page. As a virtual space which underpins current activity in onomastic research, the website will highlight new research through a feature of the month. This is written by the featured scholar or researcher.
Looking around the rest of the website, there is a forum where members can ask questions and make comments; a calendar where all onomastic-related events will be added (please inform us of any you would like put up); and profiles for members where you can add as much or as little as you like. These are to guide users into conversing with someone with similar interests or to know who to ask a particular question i.e. please keep all the personal naming questions for Alice! For toponymy in particular, visuals are important so it will be possible to add photographs to a comment. There is also a gallery for members to upload their photographs, which again encourages discussion. A live ticker feed will be added in due course to the homepage of the website so as to show current activity and encourage people on the website to become involved in a current discussion while they are browsing.
The aim is to bring together all researchers to exchange knowledge and enable everyone with an interest in name studies to engage with current onomastic studies from around the world. We hope this website goes some way to achieving this.
The Onomastics Reading Group is now established at Glasgow University with financial help from the Centre for Scottish and Celtic Studies. Meetings take place fortnightly during term time and so far have included Scottish charters, Old English boundary names, dog naming patterns in the Kabrè people of Africa, presentations by the Leverhulme funded Commemorations of Saints in Scottish Place-Names project at Glasgow University and by Prof Gammeltoft of the University of Copenhagen on the digitization of place-name volumes of Denmark. This group started in January of this year and has been well attended by lecturers, postgraduate students, and undergraduate students. It is hoped that with the opening of the website, this group will extend beyond the university.
The first meeting of the new term will be the launch of onomastics.co.uk on Thursday 4th October: if you are in Glasgow please come along! For more information on the group email Leonie Dunlop (firstname.lastname@example.org). There will be a short presentation on the website at the next Scottish Place-Name Society conference on 3rd November in Augustine United Church, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, Edinburgh. For more information on the conference please visit spns.org.uk/SPNS1112.html.
This project is also connected to a postgraduate pre-conference workshop which will be held at Glasgow University on 4th – 5th April 2013 prior to the Society of Name Studies in Britain and Ireland on 5th – 8th April 2013. Postgraduates from a number of universities will be joining in roundtable discussions, a CV workshop, a place-name walk and a visit to Glasgow University’s Special Collections. This workshop aims to develop the practical skills postgraduates in new researchers on onomastic research need for their discipline. Postgraduate students from both universities are interested in new ways to expand the field of onomastics and create a space where any person interested in any aspect of the discipline is welcome to share, exchange and find out about name studies. This is the first of many events we hope to be able to organize in conjunction with onomastics.co.uk.
*And also many thanks for supervising two students who still think ‘deadline’ means ‘day of writing’.