How to participate in Louisiana Cemetery Preservation
Documentation of your selected cemetery includes not only a transcript of those interred, but also photographs. Taking photographs will assist future generations and provide documentation of the condition of the cemetery currently, which is very important as cited by Save Our Cemeteries. The LAGenWeb Gravestone Photograph Project discusses deteriorating headstones, and illegible inscriptions and epitaphs. Over a period of time this information is lost. Lost too, is the original state of the cemetery before some form of neglect, vandalism, or abandonment has taken place. To this end the Louisiana Gravestone Photograph Project has provided an area to submit a photograph of headstones and cemeteries. In addition to this project is the Louisiana Tombstone Transcription Project that provides links also to photographs of either particular headstones or cemeteries and additional transcripts of those interred. It is strongly suggested to provide photographs and transcripts to both of these projects in addition to providing the same to your local library or historical association. There are many cemeteries that are documented on various photo sharing websites on the internet. The wikispace offers a centralized location for all of this information to be accessed via the internet. In many of the transcripts from LAGenWeb it is noted of the cemeteries condition. Not only should these cemeteries be identified by local parish government officials, but the cemetery should also be reported to the Louisiana Cemetery Preservation mailing lists, message board, identified by Louisiana Cemetery Preservation wiki and blog, and local news media. In this manner, the cemeteries can be identified so that a project to restore, preserve and document can be achieved.
Creating volunteer opportunities
Creating volunteer opportunities in your local community is as simple as gathering a group of friends or family members and taking on the task yourselves. Church groups, clubs, and various organizations can also be contacted to spark an interest in a cemetery project. Here are a few other suggestions: involve local history commissions, organizations, genealogy groups, church groups, notify mailing lists, transcribers, genealogy societies, history societies, newspapers, LA Dept. of Culture Recreation and Tourism, Louisiana Cemetery Preservation, Save Our Cemeteries, and consult with the Louisiana Cemetery Board to see if this cemetery is under its jurisdiction or within a particular cemetery district. When you have created a cemetery project please update the wiki with your contact information, the specific cemetery, parish location and begin to blog about your cemetery project at the Louisiana Cemetery Preservation blog. Once you have joined the Louisiana Cemetery Preservation wiki, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included as a contributor to the Louisiana Cemetery Preservation blog at this URL http://louisianacemeteries.blogspot.com.
There are many volunteer opportunities in Louisiana Cemetery Preservation.
Research – Some of the places to begin research: libraries, courts, deeds, funeral homes, newspapers, property maps, appraisal office, auditors office, churches, genealogy societies and historical books.
The internet is another resource available that can assist in researching cemeteries. There are photo sharing websites, on-line newspapers, and numerous other places on the internet that contain valuable information.
Survey – Identifying , gathering data, photographing, transcribing and mapping the cemetery. Determine the type of survey you would like to conduct.
Designate - Involve local history commissions, organizations, genealogy groups, church groups. Notify Mailing lists, transcribers, genealogy societies, history societies, newspapers, LA Dept. of Culture Recreation and Tourism, Louisiana Cemetery Preservation, Save Our Cemeteries, Louisiana Cemetery Board. You may also create your own cemetery preservation organization or group.
Long Term Plan – How will the cemetery grounds be maintained in the future? How will you preserve the information you have gathered and the work that you have done?