Ortsnamen zwischen Rhein und Elbe

Onomastik im europäischen Raum

Digital Edition:

The aim of the project is to record all older place names of the federal state of Bremen, the federal state of Lower Saxony and the Westphalian part of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, additionally, to compile the historical tradition, to present explanations of names made in previous research and to present its own interpretation. The project is carried by the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and it was initiated on January 1, 2005 and approved until December 31, 2029. The results will be published continuously in over 50 single volumes with the names of the single districts in separate volumes. In general, a presentation that is comprehensible also for laymen is pursued. 

With this, the project closes a research gap because large areas of this space have not yet been edited onomastically. Since onomastics is a discipline that is linked with other disciplines in many ways, the research results will also be profitable for historical geography and settlement history, archaeology, language and cultural history, social history, agricultural history, history of law or economic history, to name but a few. Because toponyms are partly of old age, they extend far into the preliterate time. In doing so, they can also answer questions concerning settlement movements and very old settlement areas. Simultaneously, the comprehensive examination enables an investigation of differences within the greater area, both onomastically and dialect-geographically. In addition, the wide written tradition permits the precise temporal and spatial follow-up of historic processes of sound change and therefore the possibility to improve the knowledge of Old Low German considerably.


  • Prof. Dr. Jürgen Udolph (Project Leader)
  • Dr. Kirstin Casemir (Office Site Leader)
  • Dr. Michael Flöer (Research Associate)
  • Jens Kersting M.A. (Doctoral Candidate)
  • Dr. Claudia Maria Korsmeier (Research Associate)
  • Dr. Birgit Meineke (Research Associate)
  • Uwe Ohainski (Technical Associate)
Running time
Project type

Contact person for the academies' programme

Sebastian Zwies M.A.

Geschäftsstelle Mainz
Union der deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften
Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 2
55131 Mainz

Tel: 06131/218 528-17