Survey & Recording
A detailed survey of the tablets and monuments in a burying ground establishes a baseline of data for future research, reference and repair. BGPG undertakes careful field surveys stone-by-stone, using a standardized process that records such information as stone type, dimensions, orientation, inscription and condition. A chronological number is assigned to each headstone, footstone and monument which identifies the stones for ongoing reference and research.
After the survey and recording process is completed, photographs and data collected in the field may be uploaded into an online, searchable database. This is an important task for any burying ground preservation project, serving not only to document the condition and appearance of the stones when they were recorded, but also share their vital information which, as time progresses, may continue to degrade.
The sample form illustrated below was created for the Town of Southampton, NY, by the University of Pennsylvania, School of Architecture & Planning, Division for Historic Preservation, for a survey project conducted in 2004. Credit for using this sample form as a template for surveying other sites should be given to the University of Pennsylvania and the Town of Southampton.