Webinar Recap: New Tools & Programs for Cemetery Documentation in Maryland

10/16/2020
By Jessica Feldt

Individual efforts, often led by small organizations and volunteers are one of the most common ways that historic cemeteries are maintained and preserved. Yet, there are still hidden and undocumented burial grounds – creating a challenge at the regional and statewide planning level. Preservation Maryland convened a webinar on October 15, 2020 to discuss the recent successes of creating a statewide approach to documenting and inventorying Maryland’s burial sites.

Several statewide and countywide groups in Maryland have joined forces to tackle cemetery documentation and GIS mapping. These newly developed tools and programs are now available to those individuals on-the-ground at cemeteries of all shapes and sizes. Speakers for this session hosted by Preservation Maryland on Thursday, September 15, 2020 are: Elly Cowan, Director of Advocacy, Presevation Maryland; Alex Keim, State Highway Administration; and Anastasia Poulos, Anne Arundel County Division of Cultural Resources.

Watch the Webinar:

More Recordings on YouTube

NEW STATE GIS DOCUMENTATION TOOL

After years of design, testing, and extensive public feedback MDOT SHA Cemetery Inventory is live and undergoing its most extensive testing to date. Currently, more than 150 volunteers have signed up to collect and upload data using the mobile web-based application, allowing archaeologists and GIS specialists at MDOT SHA to develop best practices to collect, vet, organize, and share the location, description, and photographs of Maryland burial grounds. After an extensive round of testing and troubleshooting in Summer 2020, the web-based app is now publicly available to individuals and groups interested in using it to help record and protect Maryland’s burial grounds.

PRESENTATION DOWNLOAD (PDF)

ACCESS MDOT/SHA Cemetery Inventory App

INSTRUCTIONS FOR SIGNING UP (PDF)

UPDATE FROM ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY

Up until the 20th century, including in Anne Arundel County, it was common to establish a small family cemetery on private land in close proximity to older homes. Unfortunately, unchecked development and vandalism have destroyed above-ground traces of these important cultural resources. These cemeteries represent the resting place of those who made Anne Arundel County the place it is today. Locating and documenting these small cemeteries is an important task undertaken by the Cultural Resouces Division and their new Citizen Preservation Stewardship Program. Volunteers have access to an online documentation form that can be completed and submitted from the field.

PRESENTATION DOWNLOAD (PDF)

SIGN UP FOR THE Citizen Preservation Stewardship Program

LEARN MORE ABOUT ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY CEMETERIES

MEET THE SPEAKERS

   

Elly Cowan is Preservation Maryland’s Director of Advocacy and manager of the organization’s Smart Growth Maryland program. Baltimore-born and raised, Elly studied history and economics at the University of Baltimore.

Alexander Keim is an archaeologist and Archaeological laboratory manager working for the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration. He received his Ph.D. in Archaeology from Boston University.

Anastasia Poulos is Archaeological Sites planner for Anne Arundel County’s Cultural Resources Division responsible for ensuring the preservation of significant historic and archaeological sites in the County, including cemeteries. Anastasia Poulos has bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology and Art History from the University of Maryland-College Park followed by a master degree in GIS and with a graduate certificate in historic preservation from the University of Maryland.

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Jessica Feldt · Preservation Initiatives Manager

Jessica Feldt manages our proactive preservation and grant-giving programs and is here to help you move your project on the path towards preservation.

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