Yesterday the Royal Australian Historical Society, in Sydney had a series of talks on the topic, Place Names as Historical Records: An Open-Air Archive. There were four speakers, Dr Joshua Nash, Dr Terry Kass, Angela Phippen and Bruce Baskerville and they covered a range of topics.
Bruce spoke on place names as historical records. How there are layers of names for places and how they evolved. Angela's talk was on houses with names of First World War battles. Who built them and the how to search to find them. Both were very informative.
Dr Joshua Nash spoke on the different names that are used on Phillip Island in the Norfolk Island Archipelago. This lead to a lively discussion on wether 'unofficial' names should also be listed with gazetted names.
Dr Terry Kass spoke on Official Histories and Records of Place Names: The NSW Geographical Names Board. This talk also spoke about how areas are known locally as one name but gazetted as another. An example of this is Mosman Bay, in Sydney Harbour. It is gazetted as Great Sirius Cove, a bit of a mouth full!
It was an interesting series of talks and I know I certainly learnt valuable search tips and ways to look at areas to find the layers of names.
The RAHS run various talks and the list is on their website www.rahs.org.au