20 Jan 2012

Minutes from Edinburgh Meeting 25/11/2011

Posted by AndrewJ

Hjaltland Network
Meeting, Edinburgh
25/11 2011


Present: Eileen, Val, Peder, Berit, Andrew (Chair), Arne (Minutes)

Eileen gave a detailed orientation about the Shetland Place-Name Project. Eileen’s job is co-funded. Loren is engaged until this summer while Eileen is working on the Thing-project.
Started in 2001, originally thought it would be funded for 3 years. Now building up a database linked to GIS. The Nat. Grid is plotted. The database is Access-based, is searchable. Eileen is now looking into making it accessible for a wider audience. She sees the priority as collection rather than interpretation at this stage. So far dialectal entries are not normalised. She has collected to date c. 10.000 entries, 2-3000 more are collected orally. In addition is Steward’s collection of c. 30.000 names.

Val: There is also an archaeology-database for Shetland. The two databases are not joined up.
In the archaeological database the nearest OS point is used. Fields are defined for Shetland only.
At the moment the database is being updated, she has done 63 out of 70 long-houses found. She is correcting the grid-references, improving the recordings, defining what is a long-house, if it is Norse, etc. Artefacts from Shetland at the National Museum are not necessarily recorded in the database.

Val: Concerning pilot project: Fair Isle will take 2-3 weeks to survey. Unst is done fairly well already.

Peder showed the Historisk Atlas from Denmark. There are various historical layers, places, etc.
Canmore is not reliable in the sense it is not sorted and maintained. We will have to expect that the level of quality in databases will be very different over the British and North Atlantic Area.

Berit: Suggested we work concretely on a tunship with good data as a pilot. We need to know from Jim where he has good material on Shetland.

Andrew: Status and budget: We are on track, we have a web-site up and running. We have had a series of meetings, and we have results in the way that we are moving on along according to the plan. Budget is under control; we have £ 1168 left for this year, before next instalment in March.

Andrew went to London for a course in data processing for historians, half paid by his College, half by HN. Andrew also went to the Isle of Man to give a presentation about HN to Viking Destination Association, part of the Viking Route network.

Val: This network was kept going after first project died out. Viking Vision proposes to link up Viking links.
Andrew: Viking Destination had applied for EU funding but was not successful this time; lacked academic input. We can come in here, and we will be included in a new application under heading the Cultural Route. Our role will be the dissemination of info. Project funding will be announced in March. This can part-time fund our project. Shetland Amenity Trust administers the network.

Peder reported briefly on the meeting Andrew and he had with Amenity trust. It went very well.
Andrew and Peder have applied and been granted from the Centre for IT Innovation, Univ of Copenhagen, to plan and write an application to the cost of 100 000 DKr. This money will buy PG and AJ time off to write an application for AHRC or Leverhulme or HERA. It might imply the project will be tied to Copenhagen to some degree. AJ and PG will go to meet the CITI in Copenhagen in late January to discuss the grant.

Berit has been granted £1.500 from the Royal Society of Edinburgh to go to Shetland and work on the place-name database.

Andrew: We should aim for HERA’s new call. There will first be a networking pre-application gathering in Berlin that we should try to attend. If we do not make that bit, it probably will not matter too much since we have a network up and running already.
(HERA’s call was presented and discussed more in detail.)

Berit/Arne: We should broaden our Network to include all people who want to join but we should keep an inner core in the form of a working committee / steering group. There can be an outer layer of expertise and all can be referred to as the Network, The Network should communicate via a Newsletter on the web-site.

Andrew: We shall aim to have an open meeting in Shetland some time next year. People with data projects within the Network will present their material.

Peder finally demonstrated ‘How to create a searchable interactive map with the NGR coordinate referencing system’.


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