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Photographers needed for graveyard project

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AN initiative has been launched to capture a snapshot of the region’s history.

Dumfries and Galloway Family History Society are rolling out a graveyard photographic project with the aim of photographing every headstone in every graveyard in the region.

But they need help and are calling on residents to get involved.

There are 231 burial grounds, cemeteries and graveyards throughout Dumfries and Galloway and a single location may have multiple graveyards being an old parish churchyard, a new cemetery and a “modern” cemetery.

The society holds memorial inscription booklets for many of the sites, however it takes a lot of time to maintain the records and every year headstones deteriorate further with some becoming unreadable. So, members believe photography is the way forward and through testing, have found that graveyards can be photographed in between 30 minutes to five hours, depending on size. They have already started taking photos but have only managed to complete four per cent of all sites so far.

Project co-ordinator Terry Brown said: “We are trying to create a snapshot of our local history. We are seeking people willing to spend only a few hours to photograph nearby graveyards. “Whilst this is a huge task, it will be less onerous the more volunteers that get involved. This is a massive task, but with help from many of the individuals interested in family history throughout our area we can create this wonderful archive.”

He added: “The Graveyard Photographic Project will be available to researchers at our Family History Centre in Dumfries where they can view the photographs without travelling around the area and without needing to worry about weather conditions. “

In the future these photos can be used to create or update our Memorial Inscription booklets.” To find out more, or sign up as a photographer, contact Terry at photo study@dgfhs.org.uk or write to him c/o The Research Centre, 9 Glasgow Street, Dumfries DG2 9AF.

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