Ever Evolving – The Revival of Broadford Cemetery through Renovation and Digital Cemetery Software
Size of Cemetery: Small
- Digitalised cemetery records
- Physical survey of the cemetery grounds
- Interactive online cemetery map
- 24/7 online access to plot/cemetery information
- Customised database management solutions delivered at a highly affordable price
Situated in Broadford, Victoria, the Broadford Cemetery can be found on Piper Street. Administered by the Broadford Cemetery Trust, overseen by the Department of Human Services, this cemetery has been the final resting place to over 2,000 people since their first recorded burial in July 1858. This was just thirty four years after the town’s first Europeans, Hume and Hovell, passed through in 1824 and climbed to the summit of a nearby mountain, giving it the unfortunate name, “Mount Disappointment”.
The district, however, had been home for thousands of years, prior to the first European settlers, by the Taungurong people, while many pioneering families buried here have descendants still living in the town today. After the Second World War, migrants – who contributed immensely and are well represented in the cemetery – called Broadford home, after experiencing the horrors of war.Since its conception in 1867, the cemetery has been managed by a Trust – announced by the Government Gazette – with representatives from each of the churches. Today, the cemetery’s Trustees offer various skills and knowledge as they come from all walks of life.
About 50 years after the Government Gazette’s announcement about Broadford Cemetery’s Trustees, it disclosed that a further two acres of land were to be reserved for the cemetery in 1914. These two acres were purchased and being used by 1918. Even though the cemetery saw tough times in the 1950, when most of the cemetery’s records were lost, the dedicated Trust held one map until a few years ago when an old map was rediscovered, helping to locate some of the unmarked graves. Broadford Cemetery is part and parcel of the community, the quiet soul of its locality. In fact, community members hold the institution in high regard, valuing the role it plays in preserving Broadford’s heritage. Attesting to this is the sign board outside the cemetery gates, thanking the many families who made donations towards beautifying the cemetery.
Duplicate Disorder – Clearing the Path to Simple Cemetery Software
With approximately 2300 plots at Broadford Cemetery, the Chronicle team had to roll up their sleeves when facing the task of cleaning up the historic records that were extracted from the cemetery’s outdated website and partially supplied in Excel files.
The plot IDs of cemetery records did not always match the plans, while the website lookup created many duplicate entries, resulting in much detective work for us to determine the truth of the plot numbering. Due to the age of the cemetery, gaps were present in the records and the supplied spreadsheet was incomplete. For Chronicle to know which individual was interred in a particular plot, it was necessary that we referred back to the original scanned plans.
To achieve the polished, easy-to-navigate result that you’d be looking for in cemetery database software, these records and issues needed to be sorted and clarified before being ready for use and integrated in Broadford Cemetery’s digitalised platform.
Patience, Planning, and Scanning
Our team spent long, arduous hours performing quality checks and correcting the data in the supplied records. This went hand-in-hand with scanning cemetery maps – manually. Meticulous work and a keen eye was required for a task of this nature. Copious levels of patience were necessary, too, as the supplied Excel spreadsheet lacked some plot IDs. Again, the team worked manually to check each name, one by one, as they inspected all the plans and diagrams to ensure corresponding descriptions.
Creating a stunning visual and informative experience for visitors of Broadford Cemetery to experience, now, posed no trouble. We simply transferred plot data over to our geographic information system (GIS) map. When plot IDs in the records match plot IDs in the GIS, cemetery mapping software is able to transform into a visually appealing, user-friendly platform.
Broadford Cemetery had a number of requirements for their ideal cemetery management software solution. The cemetery required accurate cemetery database software that provides an interface which can be understood at a glance. Additionally, they wanted the database to be moved to cloud storage for 24/7 access on one, single platform.
Revival and Reimagining – The Result of Intuitive Cemetery Database Software
It took time, but the result of digitising Broadford Cemetery’s database and creating the new plot map is a successful implementation of our cemetery management software platform.
Today, Broadford Cemetery’s management team find that editing and updating their records is simpler – Chronicle’s software facilitates this, along with a healthy perspective of continuous improvement. While no cemetery can boast perfect records, Brian and the Trustees of Broadford Cemetery now enjoy a mostly correct database. The Chronicle team’s hours of meticulous work was a triumph! The cemetery was mapped correctly, with all plots placed where they should be.
While their old spreadsheets haven’t quite been done away with yet. If need be, Brian and the Broadford Cemetery administrators can use them as a reference. Meanwhile, for daily management of the cemetery, Brian only needs to log in and tap on the plot he needs to update or edit on the institution’s updated, simple cemetery software.
The lawns and gardens of Broadford Cemetery have been steadily flourishing since the beginning of the 21st century and today their records and maps are revamped and transformed. Brian and visitors to Broadford Cemetery, alike, can now view and navigate through the entire cemetery map simply, with access to relevant plot details in an instant.
Photo source: all credits belong to Ted Tiboni