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Shetland Place Names Project

Shetland Place Names Project

Place Name Recording Place Name Recording Zoom As well as helping us find our way in the world, place names are an important component of our cultural heritage, providing vital clues about the environment, history, geography, and the people who lived here in the past: where they came from, what language they spoke and how they used the land.

A vast quantity of local names are preserved in a strong oral tradition. In 2001, Shetland Amenity Trust recognised the importance of recording these before they were lost forever, and established the Shetland Place Names Project to: 

  • promote the collection, understanding and use of place names;
  • record all available information on Shetland’s place names;
  • establish and maintain a comprehensive database of Shetland place names, linked to digital maps. 

The project has stimulated a tremendous amount of interest, resulting in a considerable quantity of unrecorded information being brought to our attention. From a three-year Heritage Lottery funded pilot, the Shetland Place Names Project has developed into one of Shetland Amenity Trust's core activities.