Northern Ireland Place-Name Project

Archive Collections

The Northern Ireland Place-Name Project was established in the Department of Irish and Celtic Studies in the School of Languages, Literatures and Arts at Queen's University Belfast with government funding in 1987 to research the names of physical features and settlements on the Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 scale map. The Project was to build up a computer database of the names, giving their origin, meaning, and any historical or other relevant information. In 1990 the work was extended to include all townlands and a publication programme was begun, thus fulfilling the aims of the Ulster Place Name Society "to undertake a survey of Ulster place names" and to publish the results for members. Seven volumes were produced 1992-7, on parts of Counties Antrim (2), Derry (1) and Down (4). After a gap in funding 1997-9, a new grant was obtained from the Arts and Humanities Research Board to produce two further volumes in the series (Fermanagh and Tyrone) and to work towards releasing the database online. In the meantime some support was obtained from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a travelling exhibition (Celebrating Ulster’s Townlands by Kay Muhr) and from the Community Relations Council and Ultach Trust for the writing of the first Dictionary of Ulster Place-Names (by Patrick McKay). The Project is currently being reviewed.

Collections available at Northern Ireland Place-Name Project

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