Image of headstones in a cemetery (example for archives database)


A Grave Situation for Archives

Institutions which contain specialized archives may face funding challenges. As a result, these institutions may become understaffed or become incapable of offering access (electronic or otherwise). Consequently, records become “locked away” or worse, fall into disrepair.

“archives face many difficulties in funding” (Wakimoto, Hansen, & Bruce, 2013) 

Cemeteries, in particular, contain public records that may be helpful for researchers and genealogists. In certain states, the courts have deemed access to cemetery records a public right. Therefore, access to records with the help of a database could help lessen stress on these institutions.

Standardized Database

Thomas Kiedrowski created a standardized cemetery database and management system for records of burials during Monica Maceli’s ‘Database Design and Development’ class (LIS-697). Also, a sample size of 104  datasets were used, and consequently 16 tables were set up in an Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD). As a result, the database can offer ways in which queries can be made, data to be grouped, and inferences can be obtained. In addition, with some tweaking probably many cemetery could use the database.

Presentation link: Cemeteries Archives Burials Database

Wakimoto D.Hansen D., and Bruce C. (2013) The Case of LLACE: Challenges, Triumphs, and Lessons of a Community Archives. The American Archivist: Fall/Winter 2013, Vol. 76, No. 2. Retrieved from:

Thomas Kiedrowski
MLIS graduate from the Pratt Institute. Interests include research, writing, archives, and metadata. Work includes post-war geographic locales with a contemporary link to art and artists.
Thomas Kiedrowski

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