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Calidonna, Frank

Frank Calidonna Photograph Collection

1991
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: PH 021
Depiction of Charles A. Jones monument, 1858
Charles A. Jones monument, 1858

A teacher at the New York State School for the Deaf since the 1970s, Frank Calidonna is a professional photographer based in Rome, N.Y. A long-time member of the Association for Gravestone Studies, Calidonna has a long standing interest in Victorian cemeteries and, among other projects, made a photographic study of the Victorian Mount Cemetery in Rochester, N.Y., in 1991.

The Calidonna Collection contains 55 black and white prints (5×7″) taken of monuments and gravestones in Mount Hope Cemetery, ca.May 1991, documenting the stylistic variation, ranging from high Victorian to relatively recent. The collection also includes two brochures for Mount Hope.

Subjects

Gravestones--New YorkMount Hope Cemetery (Rochester, N.Y.)
Cemetery Inscriptions Collection

Cemetery Inscriptions Collection

1902-2005
4 boxes 6 linear feet
Call no.: MS 669

Founded in 1977, the Association for Gravestone Studies (AGS) is an international organization dedicated to furthering the study and preservation of gravestones. Based in Greenfield, Mass., the Association promotes the study of gravestones from historical and artistic perspectives. To raise public awareness about the significance of historic gravemarkers and the issues surrounding their preservation, the AGS sponsors conferences and workshops, publishes both a quarterly newsletter and annual journal, Markers, and has built an archive of collections documenting gravestones and the memorial industry.

Consisting of self-published and limited-run compilations of gravestone transcriptions from historical cemeteries, the AGS Cemetery Inscriptions Collection offers rich documentation of epitaphs and memorial language, with an emphasis on colonial and early national-era in New England and Ohio. The collection is arranged by state and town.

Subjects

GravestonesInscriptions

Contributors

Association for Gravestone Studies
Cornish, Michael

Michael Cornish Photograph Collection

ca.1975-2005
20 boxes 20.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 035

Michael Cornish first became interested in gravemarkers while writing a senior thesis at the Massachusetts College of Art, and since that time, he has prepared numerous exhibitions of his photographic work and conducted important research on colonial markers. Widely known for his work on the carver Joseph Barbur of West Medway, Mass., and a group of “tendril carvers” in southeastern Massachusetts, Cornish speaks frequently to historical societies around Massachusetts, delivering slide shows tailored to the particular area. An inventory photographer for the City of Boston’s Historic Burying Ground Initiative, he has also consulted for several towns regarding the preservation and rehabilitation of their burying grounds. As a member of the AGS Board of Directors, Cornish has worked in various capacities and played an active role in organizing and participating in the annual conventions, programs, exhibits, and tours.

The Cornish Collection includes many thousands of photographs and direct rubbings of early New England gravestones, primarily in Massachusetts and Connecticut, focusing on their beauty and artistic merit. Originally inspired by the work of Harriette Merrifield Forbes, and encouraged by Dan and Jessie Farber, Cornish photographed in a variety of formats, including Kodachrome transparencies, black-and-white negatives, and black-and-white prints. The collection also includes research notes relating to his work on Barbur and other stonecarvers.

Subjects

Gravestones--ConnecticutGravestones--MassachusettsStone carving--ConnecticutStone carving--Massachusetts

Contributors

Association for Gravestone StudiesCornish, Michael

Types of material

Photographs
Dethlefsen, Edwin S.

Edwin S. Dethlefsen Photograph Collection

ca.1965-1970
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: PH 020
Depiction of Abigail Holman, d. 1702, Milton, Mass.
Abigail Holman, d. 1702, Milton, Mass.

Edwin S. Dethlefsen and his colleague James Deetz did pioneering work in the historical archaeology and material culture of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century gravestones in New England. Through a series of articles in the mid-1960s, based on intensive study of well documented sites in Massachusetts, Deetz and Dethlefsen developed a basic framework for understanding the stylistic evolution of gravestones. Their work was foundational for later studies in material culture and folk art, but also the broader study of death and bereavement and colonial culture.

The Dethlefsen Collection consists of nearly 2,900 negatives (black and white, 35m and 2×2″) of gravestones, primarily from eastern Massachusetts and Newport, R.I. Among the towns documented are Boston, Cambridge, Charlestown, Concord, Dorchester, Harvard, Lexington, Marblehead, Marshfield, Plymouth, Quincy, and Scituate.

Subjects

Gravestones--MassachusettsGravestones--Rhode IslandStone carving--MassachusettsStone carving--Rhode Island

Contributors

Association for Gravestone StudiesDethlefsen, Edwin S

Types of material

Photographs
Duane, Edward H.

Edward H. Duane Collection

1967-1992
1 box, portfolio 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 029

While working as caretaker for veterans’ graves in 1966, Edward H. Duane became concerned about the deterioration he saw affecting the older tombstones. A resident of Leicester and (after 1968) Paxton, Mass., Duane was employed for many years as a shipper for companies in nearby Worcester, but preserving the information on tombstones became his calling. Over the following years, he made hundreds of rubbings of New England tombstones, teaching the technique at workshops and classes throughout the region. Among other works, he was author of The Old Burial Ground, Rutland, Mass., 1717-1888 (1983).

The Duane Collection contains an array of materials used by Edward Duane in his stone rubbing workshops in the 1970s and 1980s, along with newsclippings and short publications on New England gravestones and gravestone preservation. Among other items is an early essay of his, “Old New England Headstone, 1668-1815” (1967), accompanied by related correspondence from Allan Ludwig.

Subjects

Gravestones--Massachusetts

Contributors

Association for Gravestone StudiesDuane, Edward H

Types of material

PhotographsRubbings
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--ConnecticutMarble industry and trade--ConnecticutMillerite movementStonecutters

Contributors

Association for Gravestone StudiesDudley, Joseph

Types of material

DiariesMemoirs
Farber, Daniel

Daniel and Jessie Lie Farber Photograph Collection

1973
12 boxes 7.25 linear feet
Call no.: PH 022
Depiction of Jonathan Butterfield, Chelmsford, 1750
Jonathan Butterfield, Chelmsford, 1750

A businessman from Worcester, Mass., Daniel Farber (1906-1998) was among the best known photographers of early American gravestone art. Over the course of twenty years beginning in about 1970, he and his wife Jessie Lie Farber (a faculty member at Mount Holyoke College) took thousands of photographs of gravestones throughout New England and the eastern United States, eventually extending their work internationally. Interested in both the artistic and cultural value of gravestones, the Farbers were founding members of the Association for Gravestone Studies in 1976 and influenced a generation of fellow researchers in gravestone studies.

Printed in 1973, the Farber Collection includes 326 black and white prints (5×7″),mounted on rag board, of of colonial and early national gravestones in Massachusetts. The towns represented, most by multiple images, include Auburn, Billerica, Boylston, Brookfield, Cambridge, Charlestown, Chelmsford, Concord. Holden, Leicester, Lexington, Marlboro, Northboro, North Brookfield, Oxford, Paxton, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Sudbury, Watertown, Wayland, and Westboro.

Subjects

Gravestones--Massachusetts

Contributors

Association for Gravestone StudiesFarber, DanielFarber, Jessie Lie

Types of material

Photographs
Griswold, Jonah B.

Jonah B. Griswold Ledgers

1841-1876
4 vols. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 638

An industrious artisan with a wide custom, Jonah B. Griswold made gravestones and sepulchral monuments in Sturbridge, Mass., during the three decades saddling the Civil War. Making 20 or more stones a month, Griswold had clients throughout southern Worcester County, including the Brookfields, Charlton, Wales, Woodstock, Warren, Brimfield, Union, Oxford, Worcester, Southbridge, Holland, New Boston, Spencer, Webster, Dudley, and Podunk, and as far south as Pomfret, Conn.

The four volumes that survive from Griswold’s operation include: record of cash expenditures for personal items, 1843-1876, combined with accounts of work performed for Griswold and daybook with records of marble purchased and stones carved, 1861-1876; daybook of cash on hand 1841-1842, with accounts of stone purchased and stones carved, April 1843-1849; daybook of stones carved, 1849-1860; and daybook of stones carved, 1855-1876. Griswold seldom records inscriptions, with most entries restricted to the name of the client and/or deceased, location, and cost, such as: “Oct. 14. Brookfield. Stone for Mr. Woods child 25.43” Prices during the antebellum period ranged from $10 (half that for infants) to over $140, with larger monuments going higher.

Subjects

Gravestones--MassachusettsStone carving--MassachusettsSturbridge (Mass.)--History

Contributors

Association for Gravestone StudiesGriswold, Jonah B

Types of material

Daybooks
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 restorationGravestones--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.