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Headstones as Postcards from the Past


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Lecture notes from a talk given to the Moby Dick literary festival in Youghal, Co. Cork, on 1st June 2013

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Headstones as Postcards from the Past

  2. 2. Audio recorderZoom H2GPS CameraSony HX20Ipod touch
  3. 3. 4You will go the way that all thingsgo.What is strange about that?This is the law to which you wereborn; it was the lot of your father,your mother, your ancestors andof all who came before you as itwill be of all who come after you.Letters from a StoicLXXVII, 12
  4. 4. 5St Chad’s, Manchester, England
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  12. 12. 25Historic Graves arefamily namespinned in thelandscape –representinghundreds of yearsof continuity andchange
  13. 13. 26North Abbey, Youghal
  14. 14. Postcard from the Past• Erectedas a tribute of affection byMrs Julia Cullinaneof Banshato the memory of her dearly belovedsonsCornilius departed this life the 3of February 1851 aged 20 yearsMichael departed this life the 30thof August 1851 aged 21 yearsand James departed this life the 29thof May 1852 aged 32 years29
  15. 15. Postcard from the Past• ERECTED byJohn ArmstrongStation Master Lombardstown in memory of hisBELOVED children John who diedDecbr.25th.1856 aged 5 yrs and9 months. Also Sarah Anneand Robert who died young.These lovely buds so young and fairCalled hence by early doomJust came to show how sweet the flowerIn Paradise do bloom30
  16. 16. 32Conclusions• People engage with– Puzzles– Work– Stories– What started as an archaeological project hasbecome multidisciplinary -because historicgraveyard recording is not just about stones- itis about telling stories of people in placethrough time- Kith & Kin.32
  17. 17. 33Conclusions• Community based (multiplier effect)• Geolocated• Grassroots digital activism– Web– Epubs– Multimodal33
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