Navigating Archival Treasures at Mount Auburn Cemetery

“Our work as preachers, teachers and historians is to be alert to new materials, ways of looking, insights and archival treasures held at sites that might be new to our research, One such site I have found can be cemetery archives.

As a docent at Mount Auburn Cemetery where I lead walks of an historical and interpretive nature, I make use of the Cemetery’s archival collections which I have found to be a rich source of “”new”” information about individuals buried and commemorated there. Many of these notables are Unitarian Universalists: Hosea Ballou, Joseph Stevens Buckminster, Charles Sumner, Samuel and Julia Ward Howe, Eliza Follen, and Dorothea Dix amongst many others.

In this workshop I will explore the possibilities held within the Cemetery’s Historical Collections: what do lot diagram cards teach us about family relationships, how can the monuments with their inscriptions add to our knowledge of those whom we describe as our spiritual ancestors?”