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To encourage and support the preservation, maintenance, and study of Maine's old cemeteries and their records.


Gravestone Preservation Workshop Application [PDF]

The MOCA Workshop committee begins planning workshops in early fall for the following year; therefore, MOCA strongly recommends submitting completed applications no later than September 30 for optimum consideration.

*Slideshow images by MOCA member, Kate Gaudet. 

MOCA offers three types of workshops on a recurring basis.  One type is an in-depth conservation workshop held every few years and led by a professional conservator. 

The other two types - typically offered in years when we do not offer a conservator led workshop - focus on cleaning stones and straightening leaning tablet stones.  Our workshops offer hands-on learning opportunities and are led by experienced MOCA members.  Cleaning and Leaning Workshops are often combined into one day-long experience.

Workshop I: Cleaning 
Workshop II: Leaning 

Does your town have a cemetery that has long been neglected, that has leaning tablet stones, and stones covered with layers of dirt and lichen?

A MOCA Cleaning and/or Leaning Workshop may be the answer.  During these one-day workshops, participants learn and practice valuable conservation techniques:

  • Workshop I: Cleaning: Instruction in cleaning gravestones.  Attendees practice cleaning techniques.
  • Workshop II: Leaning:  Instruction on straightening leaning TABLET stones. Attendees practice new straightening skills.  Important -- the only type of stones we tackle in these workshops are TABLET stones - often slate stones are tablet stones. Stones usually need to be leaning more than 15 degrees in order to fit the criteria for needing to be straightened.

MOCA would like to hear from municipalities, historical societies, or other organizations who are willing to host a Cleaning/Leaning Workshop and commit to providing future maintenance of the cleaned/restored cemetery on a regular and continual basis once the workshop is concluded.  Contact a member of the MOCA Workshop Committee for more information about hosting a workshop in your area. 

Workshop III: Beginner's Gravestone Preservation Workshop
4-Day Intensive Conservator Led Instruction

Does your town have a cemetery that has long been neglected, that has broken stones, leaning tablet stones, and stones covered with layers of dirt and lichen? Would your town, historical society, or other group be willing to host a Gravestone Conservation Workshop promoted by MOCA at such a cemetery?

MOCA is always looking for municipalities, historical societies, cemetery associations, or other groups that are willing to host a conservator led workshop. There must be an upfront commitment from the sponsoring entity that, once the conservation workshop has concluded, maintenance of the cleaned/conserved cemetery will be provided on a regular and continual basis by the responsible entity. The sponsoring entity will be responsible for supplying specified materials. Cemeteries with fewer than 100 marked burials are likely too small for this type of workshop.

If your town has a badly neglected cemetery, and the municipality or a local group is interested in making the time commitment necessary to support such a workshop, and will commit to future maintenance of the cemetery, please send an e-mail to a member of the MOCA Workshop Committee.

Here's an excellent Preservation Brief from the National Parks Service that addresses a topic near and dear to MOCA hearts: gravestone preservation! It's very complete document, including some methods best left to TRAINED and EXPERIENCED conservators. Never work beyond your training or experience.

DO NO HARM is lesson one.

Resource Directory

Our directory of workshop-trained members is a great resource for learning more about best practices for cleaning and/or preserving gravestones. [more...]


Burial Marker Record


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