Talk:Leland Itinerary in Wales

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Recogito User Notes (David Elis-Williams)

References to page numbers here are to those in Recogito, not Leland’s.

  • Scans are incomplete for pages 32, 98, 108, 124, 166.

I tried geotagging at pages 80, 81 and 130


  • Not always possible to tag rectangle exactly to text where text spans two lines. SG: Not ideal, but shall we tag only the start of the text?

Letters and Character sets

  • I assume we are meant to be transcribing Leland exactly as written, but Welsh includes accented characters, e.g. bodêon on page 130, but Rocogito won’t input accented characters. I managed to find a way by creating Word document then cutting and pasting (although this may have changed font used). [SG: I wonder if this is a user-keyboard issue rather than a limitation of Recogito? In Windows, I can access non-standard characters with [Win]+[.].]
  • Welsh includes hyphenated words, but typing hyphen into Recogito is interpreted as a screen navigation command only. Again cutting & pasting is possible but clumsy. [SG: I can see that's a nuisance - I'll put this to Rainer (the developer).]
  • On page 130, for Llan Dwyn and Llan Deniel, Leland (or rather, his copyist: see editor’s comments on p.129) uses a capital D with a bar through it. What we now write as double-d in modern Welsh used to be written as a separate character, and clearly that is what is shown here. A faithful transcription should recognise this as a separate character; there may well be other examples. How should we recognise this? [SG: I think that's an editorial choice for you and Stuart, David?]
  • Also, it’s clear from comments on p. 129 that more than one hand was involved with original and editor has interpreted the copyist as the better version. I have tended to follow that and use the italics version. This comment may only apply to this particular Appendix.

Gazetteer issues

  • Sometimes gazetteer offers more than one location for the same name. I have tended to go for the closest to the place described, but may not always have been consistent. [SG: Consistency is not a problem, as we hope to introduce a point location refinement tool at some stage; the important thing for now is to lock the linkage of the location into a recognised reference gazetteer if possible.]
  • Page 130, Leland has ‘Rent Llan Pedyr y Rosur alias Nuburch’ where he uses both Rhosyr and Niwbwrch/Newborough (modern equivalent orthography) to describe the same place. Recogito doesn’t seem to allow two tags for one rectangle, so I created two rectangles and tagged each separately. [SG: That sounds like the correct approach to me. Anyone else?]
  • Page 130, Leland has ‘Porth Amyl, lyttl ryll’ where it’s clear he is referring to the mouth of a stream. I can find the placename but it relates to a nearby house and farm in the gazetteer. How should I identify that he really is referring to the mouth of a stream, a short distance away? [SG: I think there's a discussion to be had about creating a tag library, including indicators for approximation and various classes of region (or administrative area) rather than a settlement. In this case, I guess additionally a note in the Comment section would be best.]
  • Aber Pwll not identified from description. Leave this untagged? [SG: After clicking the [Place] button, Recogito offers a flag icon to "Flag this place as unidentified".]
  • Also, given that the Anglesey Appendix, right-hand column, is a clockwise enumeration of rivers round the coast of Anglesey, it’s strange that he missed Afon Braint, one of the larger rivers. Does this merit some comment? If so, where? [SG: Good point... Perhaps we should consider a method for adding footnotes. One way to do this might be to use the Point tag (instead of the rectangle), and add the pseudo-footnote to the Comment section?]
  • Sometimes, I had to try many variant spellings before hitting on the right one in the gazetteer. Is there a map search available? [SG: Sadly not (I'll suggest this to Rainer), but hopefully the upgraded Welsh place-name version of the Wikidata gazetteer will help. I'm still hoping to get better Welsh gazetteers from the RCAHMW.]
  • Pages 80,81 Generally disappointed that gazetteer does not have the cwmwd (commote = hundred) names at all. It doesn’t even have the county name, except in relation to a golf club and some railway stations. Also, it doesn’t have Abergwyngregyn, both the historic name in Leland and the present-day name; it is tagged as ‘Aber’, the abbreviation which was used for the railway station name and stuck in some other ways. [SG: Yes, this is poor. I'll try to generate a separate reference gazetteer for administrative areas (possibly including parishes too), although these will be represented only as points in Recogito.]

Thoughts on places named by Leland

  • The Appendix on Anglesey is mostly a list of churches (left hand column) and river mouths (right hand column).
  • As previously noted, Leland says a lot about the Cymydau (Commotes) and describes their boundaries. This means that some of the placenames are mentioned, not because they are important places, but boundaries, which tend to be out-of-the-way places.
  • So it means that I should annotate all these placenames with some categorisation. I haven’t done that so far.

Other relevant maps of Wales


Paula Marmor Saturday, February 13th, 2021

Yes, we can make items for maps and atlases. In Wikidata, we distinguish between a “work” and its “editions” (for example, a 1610 first edition and a 1970 coffee table book reprint). We also have ”book” or “exemplar” which is a specific physical copy of a particular edition, usually in a library or archive somewhere.

Here’s an existing wikidata item for a Speed map: This needs to eventually be linked to its work and edition (which don’t exist yet).

What if Leland made mistakes?

I get it that we are transcribing exactly what Leland said (or at least the 1906 edition of it) as an accessible reference source, but what if he got it wrong? And who are we to say he did? So, for example, he said (p.81) there were White Friars in Bangor, but I'm fairly sure from my local history they were Blackfriars. I'm assuming that we need to flag up disagreement, but presumably with some supporting details and maybe references as to why we think this. Does this need a place in the controlled vocabulary?DavidElisWilliams (talk) 11:41, 5 March 2021 (UTC)

If I were dealing with that in Wikipedia my edit would be something along the lines of 'no evidence of White Friars in Bangor has been found. There were however Blackfriars at such and such place from such and such a time [insert evidence here]'. Doesn't say definitely it is a mistake and doesn't say whose mistake it is (we don't know if it is Leland or Toulmin Smith), and leaves room for correction later if evidence does come to light. And a tag for that in the vocab might be handy, I agree. TamsinBraisher (talk) 08:52, 10 March 2021 (UTC)

That makes a lot of sense. DavidElisWilliams (talk) 14:40, 10 March 2021 (UTC)


Comments 10 March

Ah, really useful to see this as it begins to cover some of the issues I had been wondering about from having had a go at three pages.

First, a synonym: Leland, as indeed other authors do, often uses hundred as interchangeable for Cwmwd/Commote in Wales. I think we should do the same.

By which I mean that if Leland mentions 'hundred' we in Wales we tag it as commote DavidElisWilliams (talk) 21:44, 10 March 2021 (UTC)

Leland is keen on boundaries. We need to be able to tag a feature as a boundary in addition to what sort of feature it is, if that's what he says, e.g. if a named river is also said to be the limit of an administrative area.

So admin-boundary as a tag DavidElisWilliams (talk) 21:44, 10 March 2021 (UTC)

"Leland refers specifically" So if he uses a placename without saying whether it is a church, house, village, town etc.(and it could be all of them), what do we record? He may well have said what it is elsewhere. Sometimes it may be necessary to infer what category it is, e.g. if he was listing things and you're not sure where the list finishes.

I've been looking at this again following our meeting earlier, looking at the pages I've tagged. It's OK when Leland says (modern spelling here) 'X is a market town', ' These are monasteries'. But often he refers to a place names where 'River Conway' is clearly a river, but so is 'Afon Gwyrfai' because Afon is Welsh for river. Many Welsh place names contain such details, so Llan- is a church, Aber- the mouth of a river, Bwlch a gap (or pass), Llyn a lake and so on. I would tag these as specifically labelled but that's because I can see it in the Welsh placename. Complications: (a) A place, such as Dolwyddelan, could be named after a geographical feature, in this case a meadow, but also becomes the name of a church, a settlement and a parish; we may need to infer which he means. (b) Leland : 'Within this hundred is Dinas Emrys' but he doesn't say what Dinas Emrys is. It's a hillfort with an legend. In everyday Welsh, 'dinas' usually means city, but in the landscape, dinas or din (like dun in Gaelic) usually means an iron age (ish) hillfort. It may be that Leland's use of dinas, like when he used llyn or llin for lake, was his shorthand for hillfort. Conclusion: I think we should be allowed to infer what feature he was describing from the placename he was using, even if this involves some exercise of judgement. Without that a large number of names could be succesfully geolocated but wouldn't be tagged. DavidElisWilliams (talk) 21:44, 10 March 2021 (UTC)

Do we tag mention of absence of a feature the same as its presence e.e. no wood, no deer, little corn?DavidElisWilliams (talk) 14:39, 10 March 2021 (UTC)

Largely resolved in our dicussion, except perhaps we also ned a tag for 'not much of something' as well as 'absence'? DavidElisWilliams (talk) 21:44, 10 March 2021 (UTC)

Comments 10 March

Following up on some categories for Common Vocabulary:

Industry-Shipping Shoreline-Sandy Shoreline-Sandy & Rocks Shoreline-Cliff Shoreline-Pebbles LandUse-Good Soil LandUse-Barren LandUse-Wood LandUse-Corn LandUse-Geese

Happy to amend so it aligns with the anticipated methodology. (StuartBain) 19:38, 10 March 2021 (UTC)

Also LandUse-oats LandUse-rye LandUse-barley + all the words I've already tagged DavidElisWilliams (talk) 21:44, 10 March 2021 (UTC)
Can we also add Landscape-Valley Landscape-Hill and Landsape-Wood-Oak (other species will undoutedly be required) Landscape-Bog (although Leland calls it a great fenny moor NickCooke (talk) 23:36, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
I also have a prebendary collegiate church at Llanddewi Brefi - do we need to distinguish this as Church-Prebendary/Collegiate? NickCooke (talk) 00:07, 12 March 2021 (UTC)