The University of Rochester's Connection to
The following sites are important sources of information on Mount Hope Cemetery, the University of Rochester, and gravestone studies.
Friends of Mount Hope: Over the years, many people with ties to the University of Rochester have contributed to the study and preservation of Mt. Hope Cemetery. In particular, the Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery was conceived and organized in 1979, at the home of Rowland Collins, then chair of the University of Rochester's English Department. Since that time, other University members have contributed to the Friends' many tours, restoration projects, and lecture programs. Among them was Alma Burner Creek (1946-1985), the first president of the Friends of Mount Hope and a member of the Department of Rare Books, Manuscripts and Archives of Rush Rhees Library. Fittingly, she is buried in Mount Hope, and on her gravestone is the weeping willow, a symbol of the Victorian cemeteries, and for the Friend's organization.
Epitaph: The Friends of Mt. Hope Cemetery Newsletter: The newsletter of the Friends of Mt. Hope Cemetery is published quarterly and is part of the membership in the Friends. Past issues are also available online and are keyword-searchable.
University of Rochester Rare Books and Special Collections: The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, is located on the second floor of Rush Rhees Library at the University of Rochester. It houses unique, rare, and special research materials including books, manuscripts, photographs, maps, prints, broadsides, and other printed ephemera.
Speaking Stones: In the Department of Religion & Classics, Professor Th. Emil Homerin offers REL 167: "Speaking Stones," featuring Rochester's Mt. Hope Cemetery. This course focuses on religious beliefs and practice through the study of symbols and inscriptions on American gravestones. Students study funeral traditions and ritual, and explore the ways in which the images and words on gravestones help to resolve the loss of loved ones by forging symbolic connections between the living and the dead. As an important part of their research, students are required to select a gravestone or series of stones in Mt. Hope Cemetery and record, photograph, and document all images and inscriptions. Then, they consult the internment records at the Mt. Hope office and search in the University's Rare Book Room and at the Rundel Public Library, for other relevant sources to illuminate the deaths and lives of their subjects. Students learn the proper methods and procedures for collecting and recording data essential to graveyard preservation and, above all, they have the rare opportunity to study and carry-out unprecedented research in one of America's oldest Victorian cemeteries.Mt. Hope and Riverside Cemetery Interment Records: This database is an online version of a 4-cd set of microfilmed images produced with a New York State grant. Some 360,000 burials in Mount Hope Cemetery over a period of 164 years are included here, as well as the records of Riverside Cemetery. The database only includes records up until early 2002. All records since that time have been computerized and are available by contacting the cemeteries directly.