Toponymy Interest Group


The American Name Society


A Special Interest Group of the 




formerly called The Placename Survey of the United States (PLANSUS)



Toponymy Interest Group 

has the following charter

j0325978.wmf (4644 bytes)


Mission Statement, Goal, Objectives, and Organization


Mission Statement:

The Toponymy Interest Group, referred to as TIG, is an arm of the American Name Society created to promote the collection, study, and dissemination of placename information and methods.


The Toponymy Interest Group seeks to help new researchers and to inform all researchers on current methods and progress of placename research worldwide. The following objectives are under development; please click the highlighted text to review our progress.



To make available common standards for form and accuracy in the recording of placename information.

To make available the United Nations glossary of terms used in placename study.

To sponsor panels and other forums at meetings where commercial developers, university professors, private researchers, and representatives from government agencies (local, state, federal, and international) can present information and discuss mutual interests.

To send out calls for papers and announcements of meetings and to post these announcements electronically as they become available.

To encourage members to subscribe to the ANS listserve where they are able to share their research problems, issues, and thoughts with others.

To list various web sites of placename data on its homepage.

To develop an online bibliography of placename research.




  • Membership is open to all participating members of the American Name Society. There are no dues beyond those for the American Name Society.
  • Business meetings are held at least once a year in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Name Society.
  • Officers are elected every three years at an annual meeting of the American Name Society. The last election was held in December, 2002.


The current officers are: 

  • Grant W. Smith, Chair. The primary duty of the Chair is to organize meetings in consultation with the membership. (Dr. Smith's Photo)
  • Roger Payne, Vice Chair.  The primary duty of the Vice Chair is to assist the Chair.  The Vice Chair also acts for the Chair when so designated by the Chair or when the Chair is incapacitated.
  • Helen Kerfoot, Secretary. The primary duty of the Secretary is to maintain records.
  • Michael F. McGoff, is the Manager of this homepage.


The Toponymy Interest Group last met in Baltimore in July of 2002 at the annual meeting of the Council of Geographic Names Authorities (COGNA).  The meeting was sponsored by the Board on Geographic Names of the United States Geological Survey.




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