Uneven lettering on an 1829 headstone.

The proof is in the proofs

I haven’t posted for a long time. Sorry. But I have a good excuse. I have been madly writing my field guide to Sydney cemeteries. The good news is that it is at proofing stage.

I saw my first proofs of the internals last week and it is looking great. The field guide is in full colour and is generously illustrated so you can get a feel for each cemetery. There is useful information for local and family historians, with burial dates, notable burials, along with pointers to more information, including references to transcriptions, burial registers and the like. I hope lots of researchers find it useful.

What I really hope is that you will take the book out with you and visit some cemeteries. I have described interesting or unique features for each cemetery, so there are things to discover for the novice visitor. As you delve more into the book, through reading or site visits, you will begin to understand the history and development of cemeteries in Sydney.

NewSouth Publishing are doing a marvellous job and my project editor Emma Driver is a joy to work with. I can’t wait until it comes out in December.

In the meantime, I’ll be blogging about some of the cemeteries that didn’t make it into the book, exploring various elements of cemeteries, and letting you know about forthcoming talks. There’s a couple coming up in September. More about that soon.

Photo: Headstone dating from 1829, originally from the Devonshire Street Cemeteries; one of the few to survive in the Botany Pioneer Memorial Park within Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park. (photography by Mark Dunn)

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