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Indiana Historical Bureau

IHB > Cemeteries > Cemetery Heritage Initiative Cemetery Heritage Initiative

Indiana Library and Historical Board Policy
Effective Date: March 30, 2001, updated February 12, 2010
Subject: Cemetery Heritage Initiative

Indiana Historical Bureau’s Cemetery Heritage Initiative

Goals
The Indiana Historical Bureau’s (IHB) Cemetery Heritage Initiative has three goals:

  1. to reinforce the importance of cemeteries as a resource for the interpretation of Indiana’s history;
  2. to bring attention to the existence of Indiana’s remaining historic cemeteries with a visual reminder of their importance; and
  3. to assist the many individuals and groups working to preserve and maintain Indiana’s historic cemeteries through a heightened awareness of their existence and needs.

Scope
The Indiana Historical Bureau will collaborate with the Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (DHPA), Department of Natural Resources, Cemetery and Burial Grounds Registry.

A historic cemetery must be listed in the DHPA registry to be eligible for a Cemetery Heritage marker. In accordance with current Indiana Historical Marker Program Guidelines,

  • a cemetery must be at least fifty years old to be marked, and
  • prehistoric burial areas would not be marked unless they are adequately protected.

A special aluminum Cemetery Heritage sign is available for purchase. It is fabricated to order with the cemetery name, establishment date, and donors for the sign. The sign can be mounted on posts or a wall or fence, etc. The text on the sign also indicates that the cemetery is historic and is listed in the Indiana Cemetery and Burial Grounds Registry. An applicant may obtain more than one sign for the same site. The applicant will pay the full cost of the sign(s).       

Application process for a cemetery heritage sign
The process consists of a simple application and site permission form available from both the Indiana Historical Bureau (IHB) and the DHPA, DNR (see links below). The application deadline is open.       

Steps in the process are as follows:

  1. Complete the Cemetery Heritage sign application and site permission form and submit to the DHPA address on the form; listing in the Registry will be confirmed by DHPA.
  2. If the cemetery is not listed in the Registry, DHPA will return the application to the applicant with a copy of the DHPA, DNR Registry form.
  3. The application and the Registry form should then be sent to the DHPA.
  4. When confirmed, DHPA will send the application to the IHB, which will process the order, receive the money, and obtain and ship the Cemetery Heritage sign.

Obtaining Indiana Cemetery Heritage Signs