Northern Ireland Place Name Project Sound Archive

Collection of sound recordings and associated transcripts compiled by the Northern Ireland Place name Project at Queen's University Belfast. Established in 1987, the Northern Ireland Place Name Project was set up to "research the origin of all names of settlements and physical features in Northern Ireland appearing on the Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 scale map; to indicate their meaning and to note any historical or relevant information." In 1990, the brief of the Project was extended to record and research administrative names (i.e. townlands, parishes and baronies) omitted from the map. Fieldwork was and remains an essential component of the research carried out by the Northern Ireland Place Name Project complementing earlier source-based research on manuscripts, maps etc. Comprising mainly recorded interviews with ordinary people from throughout the region, this fieldwork provides valuable information on features in local topography and land-use, and, more importantly, records the local pronunciations for the place names being researched. Particular areas covered in the collection include Counties Down, Antrim, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Monaghan and South Armagh.


The Northern Ireland Place Name Project Sound Archive is a valuable resource for the study of language, geography and local history. It includes details and information about the location, history and original language and meaning of Ulster place names and townlands. Name derivations may be based on topography, natural history, archaeology, history, local individuals and families, popular traditions and literature.

Physical characteristics

The collection consists of approximately 39 audio cassettes with associated transcriptions for about half.

Description or Catalogue

Details of the Northern Ireland Place Name Project Sound Archive can be accessed through a series of catalogued Tape Registers held in the Sound Archive office of the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum. Each collection is listed and referenced by tape number. Contact staff at the Northern Ireland Place Name Project for details of material held there.






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Added by Northern Ireland Place Name Project | Last updated on: 08 February 2018