Grave Marker Inventory and Condition Assessment

The feasibility of an inventory of burial plots and grave markers will depend on the size of the cemetery. When an inventory is undertaken, locations within the cemetery can be designated using either historic section names of the cemetery, or by providing new ones related to the cemetery design. Rows or quadrates within a large section can be numbered, and the graves can be numbered in each section by an appropriate organization method.

An inventory sheet should be created that can be filled in by either professionals or volunteers to identify the location (Section, Row/Quadrate/Grave No.), monument type, size, materials, and condition of a grave monument. A photo and the name and inscription on the monument will become part of the documentation. Inventories can be filled in using paper forms or portable computers. Geographic Positioning System coordinates can also be included if such technology is available. Data from inventories can be put in a database for ease in prioritizing repairs, sorting data, and researching information on the cemetery. (See also more detailed instructions under Tools for Cemetery Documentation: Develop the Survey and Design the Database).