Cox, Richard J.
Stories of a Pleasant Green Space: Cemetery Records and Archives.
Archival Issues, 33 (2).
The places and methods for burying the dead have always been a concern of human civilization. Many histories have been written about our changing views of memorials and remembrance, often based upon tombstones and statuary in cemeteries. Often overlooked, however, are the written records associated with cemeteries. This article provides an overview of some of the issues that lead to irregularities in recordkeeping, difficulties with access to and preservation of many of these records, and serious problems that result from poor maintenance of records. Suggestions are offered to begin efforts to address some of these issues, and a call for assistance from the professional archival community to advance the preservation of these vital records is put forth. It is important to recognize that cemetery records are a rich source of historical information that are not recognized as such, and, as a result, are not being protected as they should be.
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