Research Papers of John Field (1921-2000), English place name historian,1940-2000

Scope and Content

The collection includes the following principal series:

  • Drafts, off-prints and published versions of books, articles and lectures of John Field.c.1972-c.1990 (MS 724/1);
  • Correspondence and accompanying papers sent to John Field. Correspondents are often publishers,local government representatives and other authors researching topics related to place and fieldnames. 1948-2000;
  • Copy correspondence by John Field. 1963-1985;
  • Agreements between Field and his publishers. 1970-1990;
  • Notebooks of Field's research into English place and field names including lists andclassification of names. c.1940s-c.1990s;
  • Bundles of papers relating to the field and place-names of particular counties. These papers areparticularly strong for the counties of the East Midlands, South West and the South East of Englandbut all of the bundles relate to a selection of settlements within a county. The papers includelists of field names, correspondence with people in the area, and maps. c.1950s-c.1990s;
  • Papers relating to place-name workshops run by John Field and his wife Mary within the frameworkof the Open University, c.1970s-c.1980s;
  • Student notebooks and notes relating to Field's studies in English literature, languages,palaeography and writing and referencing skills. c.1940s-c.1970s;
  • Loose typescript and manuscript notes relating to Field's research into English place and fieldnames including lists of names, references and bibliographic details. c.1940s-c.1990s;
  • Research notes, correspondence and photographs relating to Field's interest in MargaritaPhilosophica. c.1970s-c.1980s;
  • Photographs and photographic slides particularly depicting maps, and those used by Field duringwork on his paper entitled 'Chinoiserie'. c.1970s-c.1980s;
  • Notebooks, typescript drafts and notes of Frank Tyrer relating to his article 'Common Fields of Little Crosby', which appeared in 'Common Fields of Lancashire' in number 114 of the Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Historic Society. 1962.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Field was the author of English Field-Names: A Dictionary (Newton Abbott: David andCharles, 1973) and A History of English Field-Names (New York: Longman, 1993). He alsocontributed to parts three, four and five of Kenneth Cameron's The Place Names ofLincolnshire (Nottingham: English Place-Name Society, 1992-1997) and was co-editor with JeffreySpittal of A reader's guide to the place names of the United Kingdom: a bibliography ofpublications (1920-1989) on the place-names of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Isle of Manand the Channel Islands (Stamford: Paul Watkins, 1990). Beyond place names, Field also had aresearch interest in the 16th-century scientific encyclopaedia, Margarita Philosophicacompiled by W rttemberg-born Gregorius Reisch.

Field was at one time the editorial assistant in the English Place-Name Society, and the editorof the society's Journal. He maintained his place name interest alongside his professional career asa secondary school teacher and later, a senior college lecturer at Dacorum College of FurtherEducation, Hemel Hempstead.


The collection has been divided by document type into series. Within these series, items havebeen arranged chronologically where possible.

Access Information

ACCESS: Restricted pending full cataloguing: contactDepartment for advice.


Other Finding Aids

This description is the only publicly available finding aid available for the collection. Abrief draft list of contents is available in te department and can be used in advising researchers.Copyright in the description belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Conditions Governing Use

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

COPYRIGHT: Permission to make published use of any material from this collection must be soughtin advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections(email The Department will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but the responsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the reader.

Custodial History

The collection was given to the University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts and SpecialCollections in August 2001.


John Field, English Field-Names: A Dictionary (Newton Abbott: David and Charles,1973) John Field, A History of English Field-Names (New York: Longman, 1993) Kenneth Cameron with John Field and John Insley, The Place Names of Lincolnshire(Nottingham: English Place-Name Society, 1992-1997) ed. John Field and Jeffrey Spittal A reader's guide to the place names of the UnitedKingdom: a bibliography of publications (1920-1989) on the place-names of Great Britain and NorthernIreland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands (Stamford: Paul Watkins, 1990) Gregorius Reisch, Margarita Philosophica (1503)