JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Restoring Letters On Tombstone - Rubbing technique #general


Carlos Glikson
 

Solomon Schlussel asked if there is any way to restore tombstones to be able
to read them, after the recovery of an old cemetery in Ukraine. There is a
technique - tombstone rubbing - that does not restore the tombstone but
enables reading it, and I have some doubts about it. I had saved three pages
found at
http://www.amberskyline.com/treasuremaps/t_stn1.html
including pictures on *How-to do Tombstone Rubbings*. As another site says,
do you remember copying a penny in kindergarten covering it with paper and
rubbing it with a crayon?

http://www.familytreemagazine.com/articles/oct00/rubbing.html
explains *Tombstone Rubbing, Step by Step*. It cautions you to distinguish
between a stable and unstable tombstone before attempting to make a rubbing
or even to clean debris gently. And it suggests *When in doubt, don't*. It
also recommends getting permission before doing a rubbing and checking it is
not illegal - such as in Massachusetts - remembering tombstones are
artifacts that must be treated with respect and care. Another site suggests
avoiding rubbing thin stones made of slate or sandstone, and mentions the
pressure could well snap them in half.

A google.com search for tombstone and rubbing gave 6430 results, including
pictures re. Warszaw Jewish Cemetary and Jewish Krakow in
http://www.motl.org/SOFL2000/05042000/Page.html

But
http://genealogy.about.com/c/ht/00/07/How_Tombstone_Rubbing0962933265.htm
mentions that due to the damage it can cause the practice has been banned in
some areas and cemetery locations.

An additional site
http://www.rootsweb.com/~necemete/tomb.html
even suggests a method to photograph the tombstone previously filling in the
inscription with shaving cream and removing the excess with a flat piece of
styrofoam, alleging this will make it legible and won't damage the stone.

There is a post-photographic approach, too. Taking conventional pictures of
the tombstones (even with the help of some lighting tricks or hours of the
day) and scanning them, or downloading digital pictures to your PC, enables
later to use a graphic software. I have manipulated parameters, tweaking
brightness, contrast, gamma-correction or handling filters that may help the
inscription to become more apparent and readable. This approach is 100% free
of any danger of damaging the stone.

I'd be grateful if a fellow JGenner could share any comments regarding
religious, legal and/or technical aspects contrary to tombstone rubbing as a
means to be able to read faded inscriptions, as well as any positive or
negative experience with the technique.

Carlos GLIKSON
Buenos Aires, Argentina
e-Mail cglikson@ciudad.com.ar

Searching for

GLIKSON, GLICKSON, GLUCKSOHN, GLUECKSOHN: Marijampole, Suwalki, Augustow,
Sejny,Sopotkin,Koenigsberg. POKROISKY, POKROJSKI, POKROY: Suwalki, Seirijai.
Lomza. ALPEROVICH, ALPEROWICZ: Kremenchug, Vilnius. HOLLANDERSKY,
HOLLENDERSKI, HOLLANDER: Suwalki, Seirijai, Lomza. TARNOPOLSKY, TARNOPOL:
Kremenchug, Kharkov. FELCHINSKY: Kremenchug, Vilnius, Felschtin?. KARP:

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