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Conley, Brian A.

Brian A. Conley Collection
1974-1994
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 692

An historian and archivist from northern Virginia, Brian A. Conley spent years studying the cemeteries of his native Fairfax County.

The collection contains final and draft copies of Conley’s Guide to the Cemeteries of Fairfax County, Virginia (1994), along with a small number of printed works on Virginia cemeteries or other resources used in his research.

Gift of Brian Conley to the AGS, 2008, transferred to SCUA, 2010
Subjects
  • Cemeteries--Virginia
  • Gravestones--Virginia

Dudley, Joseph

Joseph Dudley Memoir and Diary
1866-1893
1 vol. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 650 bd

Born in Cheshire, Conn., in 1822, Joseph Dudley learned “the marble business” from his father Elias, who had in turn been trained by David Ritter of New Haven. A staunch Methodist swept up in the religious ferment of the Second Great Awakening, Dudley joined his father’s business as a stonecutter in about 1845 and notes that he was among the first to letter tombstones in the rural Ever Green Cemetery in Woodstock, Conn., when it opened in 1848. He later worked in Meriden, Conn.

By generations, this volume has served as an account book, diary and memorandum book, memoir, geneaological record, and scrapbook, with each layer accumulated over all previous. Dudley’s memoir (beginning p. 78) includes a discussion of his upbringing in Cheshire, the tumultuous religious revivals during the 1840s and his reception into the Methodist Church and the Millerites, and much on his introduction to the marble business and work as a stonecutter through about 1853. The diary somewhat erratically covers the years 1873-1893.

Subjects
  • Gravestones--Connecticut
  • Marble industry and trade--Connecticut
  • Millerite movement
  • Stonecutters
Contributors
  • Association for Gravestone Studies
  • Dudley, Joseph
Types of material
  • Diaries
  • Memoirs

Eslinger, L. Sidney (Lucille Sidney)

L. Sidney Eslinger Collection
1905-2003
2 boxes (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 040
Image of

Lucille “Sidney” Eslinger was born in Albany, Missouri, on November 9, 1922, the daughter of Delano R. and Alice M. Willoughby Eslinger. After graduating from high school in 1941, Eslinger turned down an opportunity to attend college to work at Caterpillar Tractor Company in Peoria, lll., partly for the opportunity to play for the Caterpillar Dieselettes, the fast-pitch softball team. Through a co-worker, Eslinger developed an interest in history, becoming an active proponent of historic preservation in central Illinois, including graveyards. After retiring from Caterpillar, she and a friend operated a dog grooming business and she was active in the Humane Society. Sidney died in Peoria on August 14, 2011.

The Eslinger Collection contains materials relating to Sidney Eslinger’s interests in gravestone studies, including four books; a research notebook about Springdale Cemetery in Peoria; a photo album of Old Peoria State Hospital; correspondence and miscellaneous materials about stone quarries and symbolism; and a photo scrapbook, “Coin Harvey: A Legend in His Time.” States represented include Illinois and Indiana.

Subjects
  • Gravestones--Illinois
  • Gravestones--Indiana
  • Monte Ne (Ark.)
  • Old Peoria State Hospital
  • Springdale Cemetery (Peoria, Ill.)
Contributors
  • Eslinger, L. Sidney (Lucille Sidney)
Types of material
  • Photographs

Gabel, Laurel K.

Laurel K. Gabel Collection
1976-1990
11 boxes (12.5 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 066

A registered nurse by profession, Laurel K. Gabel came to the field of gravestone studies through an initial interest in genealogy. Attending her first Association for Gravestone Studies annual conference in 1980, just three years after the organization’s founding, she quickly became one of the organization’s most active members, noted for presenting papers distinguished equally by their scholarship and accessibility to a wide audience. She has regularly led tours and workshops during conferences, and in more recent years, she has taken a lead role in introducing first-time attendees to the field of gravestone studies. In 1988, Gabel received the AGS’s highest honor, the Harriet Merrifield Forbes Award.

This collection of 35 mm slides was assembled by Gabel for use in illustrating lectures and slide presentations. The collection is divided into two discrete sets, one documenting gravestone design and motifs, and the other documenting specific carvers.

Subjects
  • Gravestones--New England
  • Stone carvers--New England
Types of material
  • Photographs

George & Kent

George and Kent Records
1887-1890
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 888

Late in the nineteenth century, George and Kent was one among many firms in Barre, Vt., specializing in the supply of granite for grave markers and monuments. Under senior partner William L. George, the firm was located on Seminary Street in the 1880s, supplying a clientele that reached as far away as Iowa. Although the firm was listed in city directories from at least 1883 to 1890, further details are scant.

This small collection consists of receipts and correspondence relating to George and Kent’s trade in granite memorials. Concentrated in a narrow window, mostly 1887-1888, the collection includes three sketches for memorials to be produced by the firm.

Subjects
  • Granite industry and trade--Vermont
  • Gravestones--Vermont
Contributors
  • George, William L.
Types of material
  • Design drawings

Halporn, Roberta

Roberta Halporn Collection
1978-2002
1 box (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 847
Image of Chinese funeral money
Chinese funeral money

A writer, publisher, and expert in the culture of cemeteries and death, Roberta Halporn was born in New York in 1927. Although she entered NYU intending to study medicine, Halporn soon turned to dance, eventually earning a masters degree and working in the field for nearly two decades. When an injury ended her dance career, however, she changed careers to publishing, opening her own house in 1978. Her growing interest in the culture of death meshed well with her job and following her interests, she founded ran the Center for Thanatology Research and Education in 1986. Based in Brooklyn, the Center was a non-profit organization that worked to raise public awareness of the artistic and historical importance of cemeteries, and in addition to a library and museum, the Center ran tours of cemeteries, published books and periodicals, and operated a retail store. Halporn published regularly on topics ranging from Jewish cemeteries to hospice, thanatology libraries, and her passion, gravestone rubbing. Halporn died in 2014.

The collection consists of files relating to Roberta Halporn’s extensive thanatological research, including drafts, correspondence, photographs, and ephemera from two of her projects: on Chinese American funeral practices (resulting in the book Gods, Ghosts, and Ancestors) and on Jewish cemeteries. A significant number of books donated with the collection have been added to the Association for Gravestone Studies Book Collection.

Subjects
  • Funeral rites and ceremonies--China
  • Jewish funeral rites and ceremonies
Contributors
  • Center for Thanatology Research and Education
Types of material
  • Ephemera
  • Photographs

Historic Burying Grounds Initiative

Historic Burying Grounds Initiative Collection
1876-1985
2 boxes (0.75 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 690

With the approach of the American Bicentennial in 1976, concern grew among historic preservationists in Boston that the city’s old cemeteries and grave markers were showing the damage of many decades of harsh weather and poor maintenance. Led by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, the Boston Landmarks Commission, and The Bostonian Society, with the collaboration of the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and the Association for Gravestone Studies, among others, the Historic Burying Grounds Initiative was established to develop a plan to inventory over 15,000 markers and assemble a master plan (1985, updated 1998) to care for the cemeteries in the long term. Supported by both public and private funds, the HBGI focused initially on stabilization, preservation, and restoration of historic artifacts, tomb structures, and retaining walls, and their efforts continue today.

The HBGI Collection contains reports and inventories from the first phase of work carried out by the Initiative, focusing on the Dorchester North, Central, Copp’s Hill, Eliot, Granary, Kings Chapel, and Phipps Street Burying Grounds. The collection also contains two editions of the Manual for Preservation prepared by the HBGI.

Subjects
  • Gravestones--Conservation and restoration
  • Gravestones--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Historic Burying Grounds Initiative

Jenks, Margaret R.

Margaret R. Jenks Collection
1983-1994
2 boxes (1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 689

Margaret R. Jenks has been a family genealogist since 1964 and a cemetery transcriber since 1978. A prolific writer, she has published books listing all the cemetery inscriptions of the twenty-seven towns in Rutland County, Vermont, and of Granville, Washington County, New York, and she has conducted research on the stonecarvers of Rutland County. She served six years as a trustee of the Association for Gravestone Studies.

The Jenks collection is comprised of eighteen volumes containing exhaustive documentation of gravestone inscriptions from the following cemeteries in Vermont: Benson, Brandon, Castleton, Chittenden, Clarendon, Danby, Fair Haven, Granville (Washington County), Hubbardston, Ira, Mendon, Middleton, Mount Holly, Mt. Tabor, Pawlet, Pittsfield, Pittsford, Poultney, Proctor, Putney, Rutland, Sherburne, Shrewsbury, Sudbury, Tinmouth, Wallingford, Wells, West Haven, West Rutland.

Subjects
  • Gravestones--Vermont
Contributors
  • Jenks, Margaret R.

Keim, Sharon

Sharon Keim Collection
1983-1999
3 items (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 996
Image of From Stones: Standing in the Shadow of Time
From Stones: Standing in the Shadow of Time

Sharon Keim has been active in the arts in Washington, D.C., as a photographer, independent curator, adjunct professor and lecturer at Georgetown University, and lecturer at the Washington Center for Photography and The Martin Gallery. The recipient of an MA from the National Louis University, Keim studied studio photography and art history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, working in papermaking, screenprinting, and letterpress. From 1981 to 1986, she was director of In The Mind’s Eye, Inc., a fine art photography dealership in Washington, and she founded, and served as executive director of The Washington Center for Photography.

The Keim Collection includes a copy (8/10) of her artist’s book, Stones: Standing in the Shadow of Time, which was printed at the Hand Print Workshop International in New Baskerville Italic on Somereset and Vellum paper. Accompanying the volume is a portfolio of forty gravestone rubbings on rice paper made on Cape Cod between 1995 and 1997, using D. H. George and M.A. Nelson’s book Epitaph and Icon (1983) as a guide.

Gift of Sharon Keim to AGS, 2009, and transferred to UMass, 2010
Subjects
  • Gravestones--Massachusetts--Cape Cod
Types of material
  • Artists' books (books)
  • Rubbings (Visual works)

Ludwig, Allan I.

Allan I. Ludwig Collection
1956-1966
10 boxes (10 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 034

An historian and photographer, Allan I. Ludwig’s book Graven Images: New England Stonecarving and Its Symbols, 1650-1815 (1966) played a critical role in the rise in interest in gravestone studies in the 1960s. Born in Yonkers, N.Y., in 1933, Ludwig received his PhD in art history from Yale in 1964 and became involved with the Association for Gravestone Studies beginning with the initial Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife in 1976. He received the AGS Forbes Award in 1980 in recognition of his contributions to gravestone studies. He has been a professor of art history at Dickinson College, Bloomfield College, Rhode Island School of Design, Yale University, and Syracuse University. In addition to his books Reflections Out of Time: A Portfolio of Photographs (1981) and Repulsion: Aesthetics of the Grotesque (1986), Ludwig has curated numerous art exhibitions and exhibited his own photographs worldwide.

The Ludwig Collection consists of many hundreds of photographs of New England and English gravemarkers organized either by the deceased’s name or by the town, as well as copies of all photos used in Graven Images. Also included in the collection is a copy of Ludwig’s dissertation on gravestone iconography and offprints of several of his articles.

Subjects
  • Gravestones--New England
Contributors
  • Association for Gravestone Studies
  • Ludwig, Allan I
Types of material
  • Photographs
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