Collecting area: Gravestones

Mount Pleasant Cemetery (Taunton, Mass.)

Mount Pleasant Cemetery (Taunton, Mass.) Records

1835-1885
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1100
Depiction of Consecration of Mount Pleasant, 1836
Consecration of Mount Pleasant, 1836

Situated on ten acres, Mount Pleasant Cemtery in Taunton, Mass., was designed by Joseph Wilbar and consecrated on July, 1836, just the third rural- or garden-style cemetery in the United States. After a long period of decline in the mid-twentieth century, it was taken over by the city in 1985.

The records of Mount Pleasant Cemetery include an account book with detailed records of expenditures, work performed, and compensation received at the cemetery, and a small selection of ephemera, including two surveys at the time of its establisment.

Acquired from Between the Covers, Oct. 2019

Subjects

Cemeteries--Massachusetts--TauntonWilbar, Joseph

Types of material

Land surveysMapsPhotographs
Napoleon, Nanette

Nanette Napoleon Collection

1960-1989
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 681

A freelance researcher and writer from Hawaii, Nanette Napoleon founded The Cemetery Research Project in 1985 to document graveyards and burials on the island of O‘ahu. She has subsequently completed inventories for the islands of Maui and Moloka‘i, documenting over 300 graveyards and more than 30,000 tombstone inscriptions.

The Napoleon collections consists of an array of articles on cemeteries and the culture of death from popular media assembled by Nanette Napoleon. One folder contains information on the Cemetery Research Project and cemeteries in Hawaii.

Subjects

Cemetery Research ProjectSepulchral monuments--Hawaii

Contributors

Association for Gravestone StudiesNapoleon, Nanette

Types of material

Photographs
Ott, Cora M.

Cora M. Ott Collection

ca.1980-2000
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 039

An educational psychologist from Chelsea, Mass., Cora Ott was a poet, writer, and photographer of gravestones.

This small collection consists of snapshots (both color and black and white) of gravestones and cemeteries visited by Cora Ott during her travels, primarily in eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, but as far away as Arizona and California. Printed materials that were included with the collection will be transferred to the AGS Book Collection.

Gift of Cora M. Ott to the AGS in 2009, and transferred to SCUA, 2010.

Subjects

Sepulchral monuments--MassachusettsSepulchral monuments--Rhode Island

Types of material

Photographs
Perkins, Carol A.

Carol A. Perkins Collection

2001-2002
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 033

Carol A. Perkins was born April 25, 1926 in Rochester, N.Y., where she attended Madison High School. Her father, Vernon Perkins, was a World War I Army Air Service photographer in France, and she became interested in photography through his photograph albums. She graduated from a correspondence program at the New York Institute of Photography and graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology School of Art in 1950. After matriculating from the Rochester General Hospital School of Medical Photography, she was employed at the Toledo Hospital Institute of Medical Research for twenty-two years, and then by the Medical College of Ohio for eleven years. While searching through New England graveyards for her Perkins ancestors, she became interested in gravestone studies and became a member of the Association for Gravestone Studies.

The Carol Perkins Collection consists of 1.5 linear feet of material, primarily color photographs of grave markers in Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Box 1 has two indices: one alphabetical by deceased’s surnames, and the other alphabetical by state, then town, then cemetery. Box 2 photographs include transcriptions of the deceased’s names, dates of birth/death, and inscriptions, and are organized by state, then town. The collection includes one folder of genealogical material and 20 black & white photographs of markers in England. Photographs taken at AGS conferences include some AGS members and were taken in the following years: 1980, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, and 2003.

Subjects

Sepulchral monuments--ConnecticutSepulchral monuments--IndianaSepulchral monuments--MassachusettsSepulchral monuments--MichiganSepulchral monuments--New HampshireSepulchral monuments--New YorkSepulchral monuments--OhioSepulchral monuments--Vermont

Contributors

Association for Gravestone StudiesPerkins, Carol A

Types of material

Photographs
Portland Granite Company

Portland Granite Company Records

1836
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 648 bd

Three months after it was incorporated by the state of Maine in March 1836, the Portland Granite Company acquired 17 acres of land from Seth Clark in Westbrook, Me., and began its quarrying operation. With 160 shares of common stock, the company’s members elected a board of three directors (Henry Iseley, M.P. Sawyer, and George Clark), with Henry R. Stickney serving as Treasurer and Secretary. Though not particularly prominent, the firm appears to have operated for at least fifty years, and is listed in directories of state industries through about the time of Stickney’s death in 1887.

Recorded on a slender seven pages in an otherwise blank bound ledger, the records of the Portland Granite Company provide slight but critical documentation of the organization of a significant quarrying operation. Included are the formal act of incorporation for the company, a record of approval by the corporation to accept their charter; notes on the election of officers; company by-laws; approval for the distribution of stock (160 shares); and an agreement with Seth Clark to purchase 17 acres in Westbrook, Me., for the operation.

Subjects

Granite industry and trade--MaineSepulchral monuments--Maine

Contributors

Stickney, Henry Rolfe, 1799-1887

Types of material

Articles of incorporationBylaws (Administrative records)
Ridlen, Susanne S.

Susanne S. Ridlen Photograph Collection

1985-1991
11 boxes 5.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 025
Depiction of In Memory of the Orphans
In Memory of the Orphans

A folklorist at Indiana University Kokomo for many years, Susanne S. Ridlen is noted for her research on grave markers in the Midwest. Her dissertation at Indiana University was on tombstones carved to mimic tree-stumps, a rustic form of funerary monument that enjoyed a vogue during the late nineteenth century. Ridlen’s research culminated in publication of her book Tree-Stump Tombstones: A Field Guide to Rustic Funerary Art in Indiana (Kokomo, 1999).

The Ridlen collection provides an extensive visual record of tree-stump tombstones in Indiana. Organized by county, town, and cemetery, the collection typically includes several views of each marker along with documentation of the individual(s) interred, the date of creation, inscriptions, and any other design motifs employed. These images and data form the basis for Ridlen’s Tree-Stump Tombstones.

Subjects

Sepulchral monuments--Indiana

Contributors

Association for Gravestone StudiesRidlen, Susanne S

Types of material

Photographs
Rotundo, Barbara

Barbara Rotundo Photograph Collection

ca.1970-2004
9 boxes 10 linear feet
Call no.: PH 050
Depiction of

A long-time member of the English Department at the University of Albany, Barbara Rotundo was a 1942 graduate in economics at Mount Holyoke College. After the death of her husband, Joseph in 1953, Rotundo became one of the first female faculty members at Union College, and after earning a master’s degree in English at Cornell University and a doctorate in American Literature from Syracuse University, she served as an associate professor of English at the University of Albany, where she founded one of the first university writing programs in the United States. Avocationally, she was a stalwart member of the Association for Gravestone Studies, helping to broaden its scope beyond its the Colonial period to include the Victorian era. Her research included the rural cemetery movement, Mount Auburn Cemetery, white bronze (zinc) markers, and ethnic folk gravestones. Her research in these fields was presented on dozens of occasions to annual meetings of AGS, the American Culture Association, and The Pioneer America Society. In 1989, after residing in Schenectady for forty-six years, she retired to Belmont, NH, where she died in December 2004.

Consisting primarily of thousands of color slides (most digitized) and related research notebooks, the Rotundo collection is a major visual record of Victorian grave markers in the United States. The notebooks and slides are arranged by state, with an emphasis on the eastern states, and white bronze (zinc) markers also are represented in photographs and a separate research notebook. The collection also includes several rare or privately published books.

Subjects

Cemeteries--New York (State)Sepulchral monuments--New JerseySepulchral monuments--New York (State)Sepulchral monuments--Pennsylvania

Contributors

Rotundo, Barbara

Types of material

Photographs
Severy, Robert Bayard

Robert Bayard Severy Photograph Collection

1980-2007
5 boxes 5.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 024
Depiction of Capt. Elisha Davis, d. Oct. 10, 1778
Capt. Elisha Davis, d. Oct. 10, 1778

A local historian and photographer from Dorchester, Mass., and an official in the Dorchester Historical Society, Robert Bayard Severy was born on October 11, 1944, at the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Roxbury, Massachusetts. After high school Severy attended Suffolk University and received a certificate from the Franklin Institute in Photography in 1967. For over 32 years, he was employed in the Human Resources Division of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, pursuing his interests in photography throughout and documented the changing streetscapes of Boston and nearby towns. Since the early 1980s, Severy has documented gravestones in New England cemeteries.

The Severy Collection includes nearly 2,000 black and white prints (with some color) of gravestones in cemeteries in Massachusetts and Vermont. The collection is arranged by town and cemetery, and includes particularly good documentation of gravestones in Barnstable, Boston (Old Granary, King’s Chapel, Copps Hill), Brimfield, Dorchester (Cedar Grove, Dorchester North), Manomet (Manomet), Newbury (1st Parish), Norwell (First Parish), Quincy (Hancock), Watertown (Mt. Auburn), and Weymouth (Old North, Mt. Hope, Fairmount) in Massachusetts; and Bennington and Wilmington, Vermont. Larger collections of Severy’s work can be found in many other institutions, including Historic New England, The Bostonian Society, The Boston Athenaeum, The Boston Public Library, University of Massachusetts Boston, and several local public libraries and historical societies.

Subjects

Sepulchral monuments--MassachusettsSepulchral monuments--Vermont

Contributors

Association for Gravestone StudiesSevery, Robert Bayard

Types of material

Photographs
Stanze Monument Company

Stanze Monument Company Records

ca. 1921-1970
7 boxes, 13 drawers
Call no.: MS 734
Depiction of Stanze Monument Co. drawing
Stanze Monument Co. drawing

Established in 1921 in St. Louis Missouri, the Stanze Monument Company was family-owned and operated until it was sold in the mid-1980s. The company custom-cut gravestones for more than sixty years and was one of the last monument companies to cut gravestones by hand.

The collection consists of gravestone, monument, and mausoleum technical and architectural drawings. Most of the tracings and drawings of headstone patterns were used to make glass molds for sand-blasting granite headstones, while the rubbings represent reproductions of designs and font sizes and styles. Some of the architectural drawings depict conceptual plans for a typical forty-acre cemetery. The drawings were transferred from the Kibbe Hancock Heritage Museum in Illinois; a small portion of the materials were identified as being part of the “Gustafson Collection.”

Subjects

Sepulchral monuments--Design

Contributors

Stanze Monument Company

Types of material

Architectural drawings (Visual works)Technical drawings
Tenney, Thomas W.

Thomas W. and Margaret Tenney Photograph Collection

1858-2003 Bulk: 1960-1979
228 boxes 126 linear feet
Call no.: PH 045
Depiction of Submit Gaylord, 1766, Hadley, Mass.
Submit Gaylord, 1766, Hadley, Mass.

Long-time residents of Berkeley, California, Thomas W. Tenney and his wife Margaret took up photography in a serious way in the early 1960s. Photographing the Bay Area scene and publishing in the New York Times and elsewhere, Thomas Tenney became a full-time photographer by about 1960. His photographic interests ranged from urban landscapes and advertising signs to the popular culture of the 1960s and 1970s. Margaret Tenney, also a photographer, was a visual artist who worked in collage and monoprint. For over a decade, the couple took summer trips to New England to photograph colonial and early national gravestones, culminating in a public exhibition of their work in 1972 at the Bolles Gallery in San Francisco.

A vast array of the Tenneys’ photography, artwork, and collection of historic photographs, including thousands of photographs and negatives ranging from the mid-19th century to the early 2000s.

Subjects

California--PhotographsSepulchral monuments--ConnecticutSepulchral monuments--MassachusettsSepulchral monuments--Rhode IslandSepulchral monuments--VermontSigns and signboards--Photographs

Contributors

Tenney, Margaret K.Tenney, Thomas W.

Types of material

Collages (Visual works)Drawings (Visual works)Paintings (Visual works)Photographs