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Skerries School Bairns Record Place Names Skerries School Bairns Record Place NamesZoomThe Shetland Place Names Project has prioritised collecting names from oral sources before those names, which do not appear on maps or survive in documents, die out altogether. We work with groups and individuals to record place names from throughout Shetland.

Recording methods include:

  • using copy maps and recording sheets
  • recording conversations;
  • studying old maps and aerial photographs;
  • walking the ground and photographing sites;
  • extracting information from documentary sources;
  • marking up photographs and taking videos.

Each name is marked on a map, with running number and details added to a recording sheet. We record how the name is pronounced, other names it is known by, what the feature is and further information, including suggested interpretations. All features are recorded, from rocks and rigs right up to farms and settlements.

Eshaness place names recorded on old photograph Eshaness place names recorded on old photographZoomPart of the recording process involves using existing lists to try and pinpoint the location of names. Several resources can act as triggers, including old Ordnance Survey maps, especially the 1878 and 1902 editions,  lists of names collected in 1951 by John Stewart, and a series of aerial photographs from the RAF post-war survey taken between 1946 and 1951.


Download Recording Guidelines

Download Recording Sheet

Download Place Names Leaflet