2019-06

The Montana History Foundation (MHF) hosted a three-day historic Cemetery Preservation Technology Workshop from June 21-23, 2018. Seventy-three people attended this workshop. Thirteen speakers presented information on a wide variety of cemetery preservation technologies.

The workshop was split into one full-day classroom segment and two demonstration and field trip days. June 21, 2018 consisted of six plenary classroom sessions that focused on: historic cemeteries in Montana; specific applications of RTI, Photogrammetry, GPR, GIS, and GPS; Canine Forensics; research and documentation; technology and burial practices; preserving monuments and headstones; forensic archaeology; and contemporary issues in historic cemeteries.

The second day of the workshop was held in a local cemetery and featured demonstrations of all the technologies detailed in the classroom sessions the previous day. Demonstrations included: cemetery botany; drone photography; monument repair; GPR, GIS, and RTI. That evening, local historian Dr. Ellen Baumler led a walking tour highlighting Helena’s most haunted sites.

On the third and final day, four field trip options were available: a full-day workshop with the canine forensic team and a GPS/GIS team at a ghost town cemetery; a half-day bus tour to six local historic cemeteries; a half-day in-depth tour at contemporary after-life businesses in Helena; and an afternoon hands-on workshop using GPR at another local historic cemetery.

During this three-day workshop, NorthbyNorthwest Digital Productions filmed the demonstrations, interviewed the principals, and then created a short film on cemetery preservation technologies. This training video is available via our website at www.mthistory.org/cemetery-preservation.

This webpage also hosts reference materials freely available to the general public. The material includes: all presentations and handouts provided during the workshop; contact information for preservation technology experts; descriptions of cemetery preservation methods; and, the workshop program. MHF will continue to promote, update, and share these materials with partners and organizations throughout the state and region.

A Preservation Technology and Training grant from the National Park Service was instrumental to the success of this project. Due to this workshop, historic cemetery coalitions, associations, and community organizations throughout Montana possess the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions on preserving and restoring their local cemeteries.

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