North Yorkshire libraries and two county museums are joining forces to encourage residents to discover and enjoy their community heritage during Local History Month in May.

Events will be held in libraries around the county as Ryedale Folk Museum and the Dales Countryside Museum theme the month around dialect and language. These events are part of a research project into how we speak, led by the University of Leeds.

Chrys Mellor, General Manager Libraries, said: “North Yorkshire libraries are really excited to be working with Ryedale Folk Museum and the Dales Countryside Museum to bring this Leeds University project to life in libraries across the county.

“Dialect and language are synonymous with libraries and we are looking forward to celebrating our rich dialects across sites during Local and Community History Month in May. We plan to build on the foundations laid during the month to hold a series of follow-up events in a number of libraries across North Yorkshire throughout the year and create a lasting legacy to the project.”

“We’re delighted to be able to work with North Yorkshire libraries on the project,” says Claire Midgley, Project Engagement Officer based at Ryedale Folk Museum.

“The aim of the month is to increase awareness of local history and to encourage members of the community to participate. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to bring research into the way we speak to the attention of library users.”

In the 1950s and ’60s, researchers from the University of Leeds carried out the Survey of English Dialects, visiting people in more than 300 places to record their many ways of speaking. More than half a century later, staff at the university are working with museums around the country to find out what has changed and what has stayed the same.

As well as sharing findings, the collaboration with North Yorkshire libraries will provide opportunities for the public to get involved in sharing their own dialect.

They will be able to join officers from the dialect and heritage project at a series of dialect drop-in events. These will explore words from across the country recorded in the 1950s as part of the Survey of English Dialects, as well as have fun with word games and activities. Visitors will be able to contribute their words to researchers at the University of Leeds.

“Go along to one of the events and stick your nose in,” said Chrys, “or should that be beak, conk, cronk, hud, immy, sneck, snitch, snitcher, snotter, snout or trunk?”

Dialect and Heritage Project drop-ins will be at libraries including Stokesley, Catterick, Bedale, Pickering, Filey and Malton. Pre-recorded online talks will be shared via the North Yorkshire libraries YouTube channel throughout May and a series of activities, including dialect crosswords, can be accessed at participating libraries.

For details contact your local library or the North Yorkshire County Council website.