In 2013 the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, The National Library of Wales, University of Wales and the People’s Collection Wales launched a new website which aimed to harness the power of volunteers to record all the place-names of Wales as they appeared on Ordnance Survey maps at the end of the Victorian period.
Cymru1900Wales.org was a ground-breaking collaborative project, that asked visitors to the website to study historic mapping of Wales, published by the Ordnance Survey between 1899 and 1908, and to record and geolocate all the text shown on the maps; the names of towns, villages, woods, farms, rivers, springs, mansions etc.
In time the Cymru1900Wales.org website volunteers transcribed around 294,000 records from the Ordnance Survey’s 2nd Edition County Series 6-inch/mile mapping of Wales. The success of the methodology developed by the Cymru1900 project partners was further confirmed with the subsequent expansion of both the partnership and website in 2016. With the involvement of new partners, the University of Portsmouth and the National Library of Scotland, the platfrom has been further developed and evolved into the highly successful GB1900.org website.
Approximately 125,000 records from the Cymru1900 project have been included in the List of Historic Place Names of Wales at launch (a lot of the original data included non-place name text, used by the OS to depict features such footpaths, quarries, springs etc), and these provide a fantastically even geographical coverage of Wales, ensuring no matter where in Wales you are searching, there will be place names recorded as they appeared when published on Ordnance Survey mapping at the start of the 20th century.