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Planning a Cemetery Photography Project
A Guide for Interested Organizations based on the experiences of the Genealogical Institute
of the Jewish Historical Society of Western Canada.
Why do you want to start a Cemetery Photography Project?
Determining your reasons will help you to determine what you want to achieve
by the project.
Whatever your reasons, make sure you direct your project toward the goals
you desire. This will translate into a successful project in the end.
- If you are with a Genealogical organization, you are wanting the
information that is on the stone, and want some way to easily access it.
- If you are with the Religious Organization that is in charge of the
cemetery, you may want the photos for reference purposes, or for the
ability to reconstruct the stones if they become worn or damaged.
- If you are with a Museum or a Historical or Artistic studies group,
you may want the photos for a study or display of the artwork on the
stones and their meaning.
Notice, of course, that there are many alternatives to doing a cemetery
photography project that may be more suitable to your organization. Be sure
to consider the following possibilities instead:
- Manually transcribing the information from the stones. This is
much more time consuming and requires skill in the reading and writing
of any foreign languages on the stone - but it can be done by volunteers
at no cost.
- Videotaping the stones. This can be done quickly with much less
work. The final product is good for preservation, but it becomes tedious
to find specific stones due to the sequential nature of the media.
- Digital Photographs transferred to CD-Rom. This is the
technological way to go. If you have the right equipment and people with
the technical know-how to do this, then it is a worthwhile endeavor.
Finally, do some research before you begin. Find out all you can about
the various methods available to achieve your goals. [ Read
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