Carrying Out a Graveyard Survey - Guidelines



What to Record

Some Tips

Record Sheets

Drawing a Plan



Worn Stones


If photography is undertaken, thought should be given to the long-term stability of the storage medium. Black and white photographs are generally considered best for archive purposes. However, the film is not so readily available except from specialist photography shops and processing can pose similar problems. A good digital camera, correctly used, can yield results good enough to record sufficient detail in the stones and gives almost instant results, but the archival properties of digital image storage are not yet proven. The best option readily available at present is to burn the image data onto CDs which some sources claim should last at least 100 years. Consideration should be given to the future readability of the chosen format.

Each stone should be photographed at least once from the inscribed side, and again if there are interesting details not visible from that side. A scale rod and the stone number should be included in the photograph (see example photograph). Sets of digits 0 to 9 (you'll need two or three depending on the total number of stones) about 50 to 70 mm in height can be arranged to give any number required.

Detailed documentation is important during the photography process. A list of surnames found for each stone provides a useful cross reference with the record sheets to ensure that the stone numbers correspond correctly. Film number and negative number(s) for each photograph should be correlated with the stone numbers. If digital photography is used, a logical and consistent set of image file names should be devised and the files should be stored in a systematic way.

Page last updated 28th May, 2012
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