Council of Geographic Names Authorities
in the United States

2017 Geographic Names Conference

The Old Dominion and Beyond:

Four-Hundred Years of Settlement and Naming

Library of Virginia

Richmond, VA

May 8 - 12, 2017


Registration Fees
Registration will include the Opening Reception Monday evening and the Wrap-Up Social with Keynote speaker Thursday evening.

Full Registration for Attendee ($200.00)

Full Registration for Spouse or Family Member ($50.00 each)

Full Registration for Student ($20.00)

For 1-Day Registration

1-Day Registration, Attendee ($85.00)

1-Day Registration, Spouse or Family Member ($20.00)

   Friday, Optional Event:  Toponymic Tour, An educational event ($50.00 per person)

Preregistration is open and will remain until April 17.  After that, registration will be available at the conference.
For the registration form or information contact Wayne Furr at:



The Old Dominion and Beyond:

Four-Hundred Years of Settlement and Naming


NOTE: The conference program is arranged around our primary purpose of providing a forum for exchange of common-interest information with respect to the official designation of geographic names. The local theme will be woven through the conference program and balanced with other topics of interest to appeal to the National audience of State Authorities, our Federal partners, and our International advisors.


Sunday, May 7th (Early arrival day for some attendees)

Suggestions of what early arrivals to do will be posted when available

Monday, May 8th

  • Suggestions of what to do during the day before Reception will be posted when available.  A tour of the Map Library may be possible.


  • 1:00--5:00 p.m. Registration and displays
  • 5:30--8:00 p.m. Opening Reception with Welcoming Speaker from Host State with Special Presentation by Willie Balderson


Tuesday, May 9th

  • 8:30 a.m.  Registration opens
  • 8:30--10:00 a.m.  Announcements / opening remarks, and Opening address (local geographic names preferred)
  • 10:00--10:30 a.m. Break
  • 10:30 a.m.—Noon: State Reports
  • 12:00--1:30 p.m. Lunch break
  • 1:30--3:00 p.m. State Reports or Presentations on local geographic Names
  • 3:00--3:30 p.m. Break
  • 3:30--5:00 p.m. COGNA Business Meeting

Wednesday, May 10th

  • 8:30 a.m.  Registration opens
  • 8:30--10:00 a.m. U.S. BGN Staff Reports
  • 10:00--10:30 a.m. Break
  • 10:30 a.m.--Noon U.S. BGN Cases
  • 12:00--1:30 p.m. Lunch
  • 1:30--3:00 p.m. State/Federal Round-table session 1: State special interest topics
  • 3:00--3:30 p.m. Break
  • 3:30--5:00 p.m. State/Federal Round-table session 2: “The BGN Dr. is in” special interest topics

Thursday, May 11th

     It is suggested that the 1½ hour sessions be broken into different length presentations, such as: Three @ 30-minutes; two @ 45-minutes; one @ 30-minute & one @ 60-minute; or one 1 ½-hour. The length should be up to the presenter’s time requirement and topic to be covered.  To request a Call for Papers, contact Wayne at:

  • 8:30—9:00 a.m.  Roger Payne; “The Roanoke Voyages: Toponymic Mysteries Solved”
  • 9:00—10:00 a.m. Panel Discussion, Workshop, or Academic papers
  • 10:00—10:30 a.m. Break
  • 10:30 a.m.--Noon Panel Discussions, Workshops, & Academic papers
  • 12:00—1:30 p.m. Lunch break
  • 1:30--3:00 p.m. Panel Discussions, Workshops, & Academic papers
  • 3:00--3:30 p.m. Break
  • 3:30--5:00 p.m. Next year’s Invitation and Conference Wrap-up
  • 6:00-- p.m. Social Hour
  • 6:00--8:00 p.m. Closing Reception with Keynote Speaker Ralph Ehrenberg, Library of Congress, retired


Friday, May 12

Toponymic Tour (Optional, $50.00 per person)
A truly educational event

  • 8:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m. Toponymic Tour:  Jamestown Rediscovery:  Arrangements have been made for special tours with guide at Jamestown Island and Yorktown Battlefield

Hotel Information

Arrangements have been made for a block of rooms at the Hilton Richmond Downtown.  The room rate for single or double is $135.00 plus taxes per night.  It is suggested that you reserve a room early by clicking on the following link: You may also call 804-344-4300.

The hotel has an early departure fee of one night's room and tax at the group rate except in the event of business or personal emergencies.

Please reserve you room before April 17.


Helpful links regarding what to do in the Richmond, Virginia area

Visit Richmond:

What to do; 36 hours in Richmond:

Downtown experiences:

Downtown Dining Guide Map as of December 2015:

Links to Richmond museums, Historic Richmond, monuments and cemeteries, gardens:

Just to whet your appetite:

And, The Best 10 Dive Bars in Richmond, VA: