Tuesday, March 29, 2022

‘Teaching Onomastics’ Special Interest Group


The Ehrensperger Report was a printed, later web-based PDF, ANS publication, named in honour of Edward C. Ehrensperger, one of the founders of ANS. It was an annual report on the research and other activities conducted in the world of onomastics, and proved to be a valuable resource. The first Report appeared in 1955, and was compiled by Ehrensperger until 1982. At the end of every academic year he sent a letter to ANS members, asking what they had done over the last year. Kelsie Harder compiled the Report from 1983 to 1991, after which Michael McGoff took over the reins from 1992 to 2007, which was the last year the Report was published. The Report probably ceased to be published because it was too much work for one individual to compile.

Even though the Ehrensperger Report focused on individual achievements for the forgoing year, it seems it was originally designed to be a publication in which ANS members could share and discuss ideas. Given it was a printed annual report of ANS members’ activities, it was static and lacked the ability to be interactive and collaborative.


With the internet facilities we have at our disposal nowadays, it is possible to revamp the Report and make it a dynamic, interactive, and collaborative web resource allowing it to constantly change, adapt, and develop.

The proposal, then, is to revive and modernize the Ehrensperger Report, to retain its current name in honour of Ehrensperger, and to fulfill his original intention of being a resource and discussion forum for the teaching of onomastics and the compilation of material for this purpose.

Making the Report an online tool accessible to ANS members should also help to guard against the project becoming too much work and responsibility for any one person. Naturally, a moderator would also be needed.

Jan Tent is prepared to start off the project, but we call on ANS members who are willing to volunteer their help in advising, setting up, and managing the SIG. Please contact him at jan.tent@anu.edu.au and he will coordinate this venture.

Note: You must be a member of the ANS to serve on this SIG. This proposal was put forward and approved by the membership at our annual meeting in January 2022.

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