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What's in a Placename? (DOC)


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The task of the Australian National Placenames Survey is to investigate the history, meaning, and motivation for use of each name ever current for a geographic feature or inhabited locality in Australia, and to make public the results of these investigations. The cultural aspects of placename study have never formed an area of systematic research in Australia, and the Survey aims to remedy this deficiency.

The ANPS collaborates closely with the state and territory nomenclature authorities who are responsible for the technical aspects of toponymy and placenames standardisation, to which we seek to add cultural information about the history, origin and meaning of placenames. This practical research work is carried out by a network of volunteer Research Friends, coordinated by state/territory ANPS committees representing a wide range of interests and expertise, such as history, geography, Australian languages and archaeology. The results are entered in a uniform national database which will ultimately be available for browsing and searching on the Internet. Various Reports are published, and made publicly available on this website.

The database currently contains technical data for about 330,000 placenames from all the States and Territories, along with the beginnings of documentation for some of those placenames, primarily those of NSW and Queensland.



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