Tombstones and Librarianship

It’s been a pretty busy weekend on the web for me, as I’ve worked to start skeleton websites with the domains I’ve bought over the past couple of months. The last “Under Construction” website I put into place, just this evening, may have the broadest scope. Tar Heel Tombstones is also possibly the quirkiest of my websites too, at least as far as its potential. Interesting thing is, it may be an asset for my future library career in more ways than one.

As a teenager, I loved running through Old Live Oak Cemetery in Selma, and always enjoyed ghost stories told by local treasure Kathryn Tucker Windham from at local events as well as in my elementary school classrooms. Since then, I’ve had a growing interest with cemeteries, not to the extent of Harold in the movie, “Harold and Maude,” but still, it’s been there.  As an adult, I’ve gotten involved in genealogy and gained a new appreciation for tombstones and the information they provide. I’ve been known to stop at cemeteries, not knowing whether I have any relatives buried there or not! (Genealogy gives me a good excuse, though!) Perhaps this makes me a taphophile. Wikipedia also calls someone like me a tombstone tourist, though the list of famous people in my family tree is slim to none!

So, this website about tombstones in cemeteries and graveyards across North Carolina is just a seedling in a pre-made website template right now. But I’m hopeful that it will become a treasure chest of digital images of tombstones across the state, images that will need accurate descriptions, virtually preserving information that’s exposed to the outdoor elements 24/7.

I was already very interested in the new Digital Libraries track at the library school I’m applying to. Now that interest has been taken up another notch!

Clipart from


About Lesley Looper

I'm a full-time library employee. I enjoy reading, photography, travel, blogging, and geocaching.
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