Some states have begun recognizing the importance of cemeteries as cultural landscapes that offer insight into the past. Cemeteries contain time-specific information about the materials available, the individuals interred, and burial practices. In order to help protect these resources, the Bureau of Historic Preservation (BHP) has created a general cemetery survey to document and locate the cemeteries across the state.
The recordation project is a vital step towards preserving Pennsylvania's cemeteries. From the large incorporated cemeteries to the family farmstead plots, the survey will document information that can be input into the CRGIS (Cultural Resources Geographic Information System). By entering the collected information into the GIS system, the Bureau is able to document and locate cemeteries properly, which is important to provide to concerned parties.
The information collected will not infringe on genealogical/historical organizations that provide genealogical services. The survey is intended to collect general information about cemetery location, design styles, access, etc. It is beyond the scope of this project to collect information on each tombstone or transcriptions. Projects focused on individual markers and geneological information will continue to be maintained on the local level by the county or other local organizations who collect the data. The CRGIS will include information directing users to the local repositories of the data.
Please fill out the Cemetery General Survey form and email to ra-CRGIS@pa.gov or mail to:
Bureau for Historic Preservation
Commonwealth Keystone Building, 2nd Floor
400 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0093