he Association for
Gravestone Studies (AGS) was founded in 1977 for the purpose of
furthering the study and preservation of gravestones. AGS is an
international organization with an interest in gravemarkers of all
periods and styles. Through its publications, conferences, workshops
and exhibits, AGS promotes the study of gravestones from historical
and artistic perspectives, expands public awareness of the
significance of historic gravemarkers, and encourages individuals
and groups to record and preserve gravestones. At every opportunity,
AGS cooperates with groups that have similar interests.
An annual conference, held in June, features lectures, guided
cemetery tours, slide presentations, exhibits, classes, and
documentation and conservation workshops.
The 2013 conference, our thirty-sixth, will be held at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, June 18-23, 2013. Fellow enthusiasts will join together for an enjoyable, informative and fun five days of learning and comaraderie.
Information and FAQ sections are provided for the newcomer to gravestone studies.
This section offers answers to basic questions about gravemarkers,
such as, "Gravestone Rubbing Do's and Don'ts", "Tools and Materials
for Gravestone Cleaning Projects", and "Symbolism on Gravemarkers".
Our members have many areas of study or specialization and we strive
to assist the new member in finding the information they seek in an
benefits include the quarterly newsletter, AGS Quarterly
and a monthly e-newsletter. Both feature articles, book reviews,
research material, and items of general interest to AGS members.
Members also receive Markers: Annual Journal of the Association
for Gravestone Studies; discounts on AGS publications and access to
the research clearinghouse.
AGS has approximately 1,000 members worldwide, including members in
England, Scotland, Australia, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, the
Netherlands, Italy, Canada, Japan and Brazil.
Membership categories are discussed further in
Join the AGS.
AGS Quarterly: The AGS
Quarterly Editorial Board seeks
feature articles from members. Send your ideas for feature
articles to the AGS office in care of the AGS Quarterly Editorial
Board. Members are also encouraged to send news clippings
about gravestone issues.
Book reviews are also encouraged. To suggest a book for review or
to ask about reviewing a book, write to the Book Review Editor, c/o
AGS, Greenfield Corporate Center, 101 Munson Street, Suite 108, Greenfield, MA 01301, or send an email
Each issue of Markers, the Association's annual scholarly
journal, features definitive illustrated articles on many aspects of
cemeteries and gravemarkers. It also includes the annual
international bibliography, "The Year's Work in Cemetery/Gravemarker
Studies." Markers seeks submissions from scholars
and researchers in all fields. Contact the editor,
June Hadden Hobbs, for
further information and manuscript guidelines. Beginning with
Volume XXI, each new issue of Markers is automatically shipped
to members. Back issues can also be ordered separately (see the
list of Markers contents, issues, and prices).
AGS Monthly e-newsletter
The e-newsletter features announcements of upcoming events (AGS and
gravestone/cemetery-related activities sponsored by other
organizations), short articles, special sales, queries, and links to
interesting websites. The e-newsletter is sent to all AGS members,
but back issues can be read by all on our publications
Publications: The Association's
publications also include
Preservation Primer the source for those who are
contemplating the restoration of a cemetery.
The Archive Library is housed in the Greenfield office. While we do
not allow archival books to be removed from the premises, members
may make arrangements with the AGS staff to use them during AGS
office hours. The AGS Archives is being transferred to the Special
Collections Department, University of Massachusetts,
Amherst. Collections may be used according to their procedures (http://www.library.umass.edu/spcoll/).
Research Clearinghouse: AGS offers
assistance to members involved in research on gravestone-related
topics. Members may access this resource by contacting the AGS
Office. Inquiries may also be placed in the AGS monthly electronic
newsletter by sending the query to the AGS office. Before you ask a
question, please check
Awards and Scholarships: The Forbes Award is
usually, but not necessarily, presented annually by the AGS Board of
Trustees to honor an individual, institution, or organization in
recognition of exceptional service to the field of gravestone
studies. The award is named for Harriette Merrifield Forbes of
Worcester, Massachusetts, who photographed gravestones and studied
their carvers in the early 1900s. In 1927 she published a book
titled Gravestones of Early New England and the Men Who Made Them
which was the first serious study of gravestones in the twentieth
The Forbes Award is
the highest honor bestowed by the Association. The purpose of the
award is to formally honor, show appreciation for, and encourage
outstanding work in the field of gravestone studies. To submit a
nomination, please visit our Forbes Award pages.
The Oakley Award is
presented periodically by the AGS Board of Trustees to individuals
and groups that have helped to advance the mission of the
Association. Named for long-time members Rosalee and Fred Oakley,
the Certificate of Merit is designed to honor those whose work in
the field of gravestone studies may have gone unnoticed or is worthy
of recognition by AGS. The award consists of a certificate
presented by the Board of Trustees as well as a gift of a book to
the honoree's local library in their name and that of AGS.
Whenever possible the award presentation will be made by a local AGS
member. Each year's recipients will have their names printed in the
annual conference book. In addition they will be acknowledged at a
reception held in their honor at the conference. To submit an
Oakley Award Nomination, please visit our
Oakley Award pages.
The Barbara Rotundo Memorial Scholarship to attend the AGS conference
is available to serious students who have evidenced significant
interest in gravestone studies. Please visit our conference
page for more information.
To request an application for next
year's conference, write or
e-mail the AGS
Office c/o Scholarship Committee.
Above: Headstones from the Old
at Historic Deerfield, Massachusetts.
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