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Phase One of the study can be described in terms of planning and implementation and has distinct tasks associated with each activity. Planning activities included the choice of:

  • Cleaners,
  • Cemeteries,
  • Headstones, and
  • Evaluation methods for change in appearance and biological activity.

Implementation of the plan included

  • visiting each cemetery,
  • identifying and documenting headstones in sunny and shady locations within each cemetery,
  • taking selected headstones out of regular maintenance cycles,
  • making initial biological swabs for each headstone to establish baseline biological activity,
  • making color measurements at each test patch to establish initial appearance,
  • cleaning test patches on each headstone with each of the cleaners,
  • monitoring the change in appearance through photographs and color measurements over time,
  • monitoring biological re-growth through biological testing over time, and
  • evaluating the data.

Phase One of the study began April 13, 2005 with a meeting of the partners held in the ASAE building at 1575 Eye Street, Washington, DC. Attendees at the meeting included Sarah Amy Leach, Karen Ashton, and Dave Schettler from NCA and Mary Striegel from NCPTT. Jason Church (NCPTT) and ElizaBeth Guin (Northwestern State University) participated by conference call. The purpose of the meeting was the selection of cleaning products and the identification of cemeteries to include in the study.

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National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119