U.S. Board on Geographic Names Celebrates 125TH Anniversary

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) will be observing its 125th anniversary by inviting the public to a one-day symposium on geographic names, “Traditions and Transitions”.  The event, at the Library of Congress, will be held on Friday, September 18, 2015 in the Mumford Room, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., followed by an Open House and special exhibit from the Library of Congress.  No registration is required to attend. For more information, please contact Douglas.R.Caldwell@usace.army.mil

The symposium morning session keynote speech will feature "Geographic Names:  Roles, Rhetoric, and Resistance", plus presentations on national naming authorities, and the origins and evolution of the BGN.  The afternoon session will feature presentations on tribal names, English-language names in a multi-lingual world, and the state of volunteer geographic information. The Library of Congress Geography and Map Division will host a special exhibit and Open House following the program.  Featured items will include historical documents, maps and associated materials of the Board on Geographic Names.

The U.S. Board of Geographic Names was established by Executive Order from President Benjamin Harrison, on September 4, 1890, to standardize geographic names for federal government use.  The BGN is federal body comprised of ten member agencies.  The BGN organization includes the Domestic and Foreign Names Committees, and three Advisory Committees.  Committee meetings are held regularly, and activities are reported annually.  The BGN website hosts the online domestic geographic feature names database, www.geonames.usgs.gov, with links to the foreign geographic feature names, hosted by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, http://geonames.nga.mil/gns/html/