The Beverley Catholic Cemetery, Beverley Anglican Cemetery, and Beverley Uniting Cemetery are a part of the Shire of Beverley in Western Australia. Furthermore, these cemeteries are significant in their own right. Each represents the rich history and culture of the community. That said, managing these old cemeteries was not without challenges. With around 12 internments per year, the cemeteries’ authorities found it difficult to manage certain kinds of cemetery operations. Especially, the Shire worked on traditional methods of the cemeteries’ record-keeping and maps.
Old records management problems and a solution
Prior to its digitisation, the three cemeteries had some issues. Those issues posed challenges and potential risks to the cemetery staff. For example, unreadable maps, difficulty in identifying unknown plots, and risks of putting the deceased in the wrong plot. Moreover, families must go to the office to reserve a plot. Then, they went to the cemeteries to make sure that the location was accurate and the one that the family wanted. Sometimes, the map did not match what was on the ground. Although the Shire had some survey work done before, there might have been some discrepancies. Therefore, it needed to be taken care of.
To address this, the Shire of Beverley took a proactive step by digitising their cemeteries. Simon, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the Shire of Beverley, is particularly interested in Chronicle’s expertise, especially in survey pickup, headstone photography, and management capabilities. More importantly, he reckoned that Chronicle could make it possible to replace their cumbersome A1-size paper maps with a comprehensive digital map of the cemeteries’ current grave sites. This way, it can enable them to manage their cemeteries more efficiently and reduce the risk of mistakes in identifying unknown plots.
By only submitting cemetery documents to the Chronicle team, the Shire of Beverley can rest assured that the legacies of their local communities are in the right hands. They typically include the cemetery maps, burial records, and many other archives deemed to be important for cemetery digitisations.
Creating the digital mirrors of the three cemeteries
During the digitisation process, the Shire of Beverley played an active role in collaborating with Chronicle. Specifically, the Shire of Beverley provided Chronicle with access to the cemetery sites. This collaborative effort ensured that all relevant information was collected accurately. This includes data on the exact location of graves, headstones, and other structures within the cemetery.
Furthermore, the Shire of Beverley also provided input on the colour coding and layout of the digital map. So, this collaboration allowed the map to be customised to meet the Shire’s specific needs. In addition to that, it was also to ensure that the digital map accurately reflected the layout of the cemetery. Throughout the digitisation process, Chronicle maintained open lines of communication with the Shire of Beverley. This way, the Chronicle team and the Shire can ensure that any concerns or issues were addressed promptly. Finally, this collaborative approach resulted in a final product that provides a valuable tool for the management of their cemeteries.
The final results of the digitisation
No longer do the Shire of Beverley need to rely on outdated, difficult-to-manage paper records. Instead, they have embraced the convenience and accuracy of digital maps provided by Chronicle. With a few clicks, families can now locate their loved ones’ graves through the with the . Moreover, with , they can be sure they have found the right spot.
Besides, the Life Chronicle online memorials provide a beautiful and lasting tribute to loved ones. It helps families to share their memories and stories in a variety of formats. In addition to that, the online plot sales enquiries feature also makes it easy for families to communicate with the cemeteries, further streamlining the process.
After the success of digitising their cemeteries with Chronicle, Simon encourages other cemeteries in Western Australia, especially smaller ones, to consider digitising their records. He believes that Chronicle’s services are value for money in providing maximum results and benefits for these cemeteries. Even more, Simon shared his experience and success story during the LGPA event. He wanted to inspire many others to follow suit. With Chronicle’s easy-to-use digital maps, accurate burial records, and user-friendly features, digitising cemeteries has become more accessible and manageable than ever before.
The digitisation of the Beverley cemeteries was a significant step forward for the Shire of Beverley. The partnership with Chronicle has resulted in an accurate and efficient system for managing cemetery records, making it easier for cemetery staff to provide quality service to families. The digitisation of small cemeteries is an essential step to preserve the rich cultural heritage and history of communities. It is a move that encourages other cemeteries in Western Australia to join the digitisation trend, especially small cemeteries, with the help of Chronicle.