Cemeteries and the gravestones therein are in danger of being lost forever. Comparing typewritten directories created in the past with the cemeteries today clearly indicates
that the deterioration is happening rapidly. Stones that were listed just 20 to 30 years ago no longer exist. Many stones that could be read in the past cannot be read today.
The Hartland (Vermont) Historical Society wanted a method to acquire, preserve, and disseminate information about its cemeteries and their gravestones in a manner that meets the needs of historians, genealogists, gravestone artwork scholars, and preservationists.
Finding no single method or set of tools that met all of our needs, we defined and implemented our own. Combining printed forms, interactive web technology, and state-of-the-art programming techniques, the Society developed:
- A cemetery survey package to ensure the collection of complete and accurate information.
- Standards and procedures for saving and preserving the information.
- An interactive web site offering advanced search and display of the information collected.
- Processes and tools for creating printed material for use “offline”.
The procedures and tools created by this project ensure that the Society can collect and preserve this information for future generations. The presentation alternatives make this information easily available to those who are able to visit the Society’s museum
as well as to those who “visit” via the internet.
The project has been implemented totally through volunteer work.