This website has been produced through the cooperative efforts of the Department of Religion and Classics and the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation of Rush Rhees Library at the University of Rochester.
Professor Th. Emil Homerin began teaching his course REL 167: "Speaking Stones" in 1999. This course takes students into Rochester's historic Mount Hope cemetery to examine grave stones and funerary architecture. Through detailed lectures, Professor Homerin introduces the students to western funeral ritual and practice, with emphasis on funerary architecture and cemeteries in the United States, and their relationship to religious and philosophical beliefs. Then, the class examines the iconography and epigraphy of specific graves and monuments in Mt. Hope cemetery. The final class project requires each student to research and write about a particular grave of his or her own choosing in Mount Hope.
One valuable resource available to students is Epitaph, a publication of the Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery. The Friends were organized in 1980 with the goal of improving and preserving Mt. Hope Cemetery, and to promote and encourage public involvement and enjoyment of this historic Victorian site.
Epitaph: The Friends of Mount Hope Newsletter began publication in 1981, and continues to be published four times a year. Its articles inform members of important current events and projects in the cemetery, while providing essays about Rochester's history and the individuals buried in Mount Hope. The cultural and historical information in each newsletter is a valuable resource for the students and interested individuals.
The primary goal of this website, then, is to provide a resource easy access to Epitaph. Additionally, some links have been inserted to additional information or manuscript materials held in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at the University of Rochester.
All articles from the Epitaph are copyrighted, and may not be reproduced without the permission from the Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery.