Green-wood Cemetery Program

Before Central Park, before the Statue of Liberty, before Coney Island, New York had Green-Wood Cemetery. Founded in 1838, Green-Wood Cemetery was once a top national tourist destination, rivaling Niagara Falls in annual visitors. Conceived as part of the nascent rural cemetery movement, Green-Wood helped reconfigure how Americans viewed death and mourning. Among its notable “permanent residents” are Leonard Bernstein, Louis Comfort Tiffany, “Boss” Tweed, Albert Anastasia, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lola Montez, Henry Ward Beecher, and a flock of (living) parrots. In addition to functioning as a cemetery over 170 years after its founding, Green-Wood is also recognized as a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior.

The Archivists Round Table is being offered a behind-the-scenes look at record-keeping in Green-Wood Cemetery. Remarkably complete documentation has been preserved in the form of ledgers, deeds, photographs, grounds keeping reports, etc. While these records help cemetery offices carry out their day-to-day functions, they have also been great resources for historians, biographers, and genealogists, often revealing details unobtainable through other available forms of documentation.

Jeff Richman is Green-Wood Cemetery’s historian. He is the author of Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery: New York’s Buried Treasure and has developed a variety of cemetery tours. Richman has led baseball, Civil War, and, most recently, artist documentation projects at Green-Wood. He also conducts workshops on cemetery photography.

Date: Thursday, September 24, 2009

Place: Historic Chapel, Green-Wood Cemetery, 500 25th Street, Brooklyn

Time: 5:00 – 5:45 pm Social

5:45 – 7:45 pm Program

Directions: Subway: R to 25th Street/4th Avenue, Brooklyn. Walk east one block to 5th Avenue (uphill, away from the Gowanus), cemetery entrance at 25th Street and 5th Avenue. NOTE: Although there are multiple entrances to Green-Wood, all but the 25th Street entrance will be locked after 4 pm.

Fee: Free to Members and Students $6 Non-members

RSVP: To Jenny Swadosh by Friday, September 17, 2009 (preferred) or telephone: (212) 229-5942. Please be reasonably sure that you can attend before responding.

Attendees are welcome to arrive early and take a self-guided tour of Green-Wood Cemetery. A cemetery map may be downloaded from

Peter J. Wosh
Director, Archives/Public History Program
History Department
New York University
53 Washington Square South
New York NY 10012
Phone: (212) 998-8601
Fax: (212) 995-4017

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