AGS Archives Fund

The Association for Gravestone Studies (AGS) was founded in 1977 to further the study and preservation of gravestones. Through its publications, conferences, workshops and exhibits, AGS promotes the study of grave memorials and burial spaces from historical and artistic perspectives, expands public awareness of their historical significance, and spotlights the need for their preservation through informed stewardship. Since its founding, AGS has built a robust collection of materials related to gravestones and cemeteries, ranging from gravestone rubbings to photographs to research notes and cemetery surveys, journals, articles, published manuscripts, as well as theses and dissertations. We have stone carver ledgers and other historic ephemera such as photo postcards, monument company brochures, and newspaper clippings. We also hold a large collection of gravestone and cemetery books published in the US and beyond, some of which are rare and out-of-print.

The AGS Archive is held by the Special Collections Department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. A dedicated Archives Committee evaluates materials for accessioning and deaccessioning and makes recommendations to the board of directors, which holds the final authority for the AGS collections.

Material donors are primarily AGS members, some of whom are well-known practitioners in their fields, such as Richard E. Meyer, Edwin Dethlefsen, Pamela Burgess Gover, and Daniel and Jessie Lie Farber. Our diverse collections embrace the evolution of memorialization and cemetery design, forming a rich resource for researchers of art and cultural history. We welcome financial donations to our archives. For those wishing to designate their gifts for the betterment of the AGS collections, a special fund exists. Contributors to the dedicated Archives Fund help ensure that AGS can:

  • purchase significant materials to add to its collection
  • process newly-donated materials
  • continue to maintain existing holdings

Note: When donating through our website, please select the “Archives Fund” in the fund dropdown menu. Alternatively, if mailing a check, please just let us know you’d like your gift to be held in the Archives Fund.

THANK YOU for your interest in—and support of—AGS and its work!