Fife place-names database

This test database was created by means of a grant of £1,500 awarded by the John Robertson Bequest to Celtic & Gaelic, University of Glasgow. It represents the first step towards a fully searchable on-line database of Fife place-names, using data and analysis from the 5 volumes of The Place-Names of Fife (Simon Taylor with Gilbert Márkus; published by Shaun Tyas, Donington: 2006-2012), hereafter PNF,the last 4 volumes of which were the result of an AHRC-funded project based at the University of Glasgow (also Celtic & Gaelic).

The award employed Brian Aitken, the Digital Humanities Research Officer for the School of Critical Studies , to create this on-line database, which was successfully completed in November 2014. It contains: 3,242 place-name records and 23,051 historical forms (so on average each place-name has just over 7 forms)

All the 3,242 head-names contained in the PNF volumes can be searched by individual volume (1-4) or altogether. Moreover, the data in these 4 volumes, in which the place-names of all 61 pre-1975 civil parishes are surveyed and analysed, have been augmented and corrected through the incorporation of the Addenda & Corrigenda in PNF 5 (pp. 572-624). There are, however, a few of these additions and corrections which have not yet been applied.

Various features were incorporated, including a rudimentary search facility to allow search by place-name in combination with the other fields in the tabular view; and an easy-to-use ‘edit’ feature that will allow the updating of the fields and correcting of any errors. Also all place-names can be searched according to earliest date of recording.

The next stage for which funding is to be sought will add a mapping facility, elements glossary and a more user-friendly front-end.

There is of course much more information in the published volumes, including detailed parish introductions and important medieval texts edited and translated, some for the first time. While PNF 1 is now out of print, vols. 2-4 are all still available from all good bookshops, a bargain at £24!

I would very much appreciate it if you would inform me of any errors or omissions.

Simon Taylor

University of Glasgow