October-ganza part 2 – Graves and Gravestones

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October 2, 2014 by Bret Kramer (aka WinstonP)

Today’s post offers a pair of resources about all things taphic (taph being Greek for burial, grave, or sleeping place).  I’ve found these to be quite useful as I’ve been working on The Graveyards of Lovecraft Country (that link is to the preview).

Close-up of the gravestone of Joseph Babcock (d. 1761), North Stonington CT

Close-up of the gravestone of Joseph Babcock (d. 1761), North Stonington CT

I’ve mentioned this one before interviews, but if you really want to see what gravestones in New England look like, the Farber Gravestone Database is really the greatest resource outside of flying to Boston (or Providence, etc).  The database is searchable, sortable by location, carver, images, and more, and holds the image of over 9000 graves.  You too can feel like Richard Upton Pickman… setting-wise.  Don’t eat corpses, dear readers.

Our other resource is Markers, the journal of the Association for Gravestone Studies.  The AGS is an academic organization dedicated to “to foster appreciation of the cultural significance of gravestones and burial grounds through their study and preservation.”  Only the first 25 issues are available online (through 2008), but there are any number of interesting articles in those issues.  It can be a little dry, as it is an academic journal, but if this sort of topic is of interest, dig in.  (PS – Should anyone be wondering what to get me for Christmas, a membership in the AGS would be lovely.)

(Finally, if you’re interested in these topics, I still have copies of my guide to Providence’s Graveyards from NecronomiCon 2013 for sale.)

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