References: Stone Conservation, Documentation, and Care

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Variety in stone materials and conditions in the new Jewish cemetery of Zbarazh (Ternopil oblast). Photo © RJH.

This page lists print and electronic references which provide information to support an important aspect of Jewish cemetery preservation in western Ukraine: the conservation of stone in matzevot (headstones and other grave markers) and memorial monuments. Developing the skills of stone conservation and headstone repair requires a larger proportion of hands-on learning than many of the disciplines associated with cemetery care, yet there is a wealth of accumulated knowledge on the topic in both print and digital media. The references range from general texts to focused articles on topics including material properties, inspection, recording, cleaning, repair, and long-term care. Many of the references listed here are intended for application to stone buildings and other historic structures, but most of the principles and practical information work equally well in cemeteries. These references are relevant to the guide section on stone conservation on this website.

Note that while most of the references listed here pertain to natural stone, because some 20th-century Jewish headstones in western Ukraine (erected both before and after WWII) are composed of concrete, as are the majority of grave surrounds and grave covers, ohels, and other Jewish cemetery constructions, a few references pertaining to the special issues related to concrete are included below. Because of its ubiquity in modern construction, many more references to concrete repair in all media types can be found through simple internet searches in any language.

Cast concrete grave markers, surrounds, and covers at the new Ashkenazi Jewish cemetery in Halych (Ivano-Frankivsk oblast), on a frosty morning. Photos © RJH.

A few of the listed references are highlighted with brief summaries in the first section below, “key references”. Other useful resources on this subject may be found in the sections on regional and international experts, and on technical tools, methods, and data. Except where noted otherwise, all references listed here are in English.

Key References

“Stone Conservation” by Henry.

Stone Conservation: Principles and Practice; Alison Henry, ed.; Routledge; 2006.
A comprehensive introductory text on the conservation of stone buildings and monuments, with chapters contributed by leading academics and professionals. The text provides a historical overview of the practice; a review of current debates on restoration vs. conservation; an outline of the stone conservation process; methods and materials for consolidation and cleaning of stone; detailed discussion of the specific characteristics, modes of decay, and treatment of several stone types (including the two most common Jewish headstone materials in western Ukraine, limestone and sandstone); and the unique issues pertaining to monuments and grave markers.

Stone Conservation – An Overview of Current Research; Eric Doehne and Clifford A. Price; Getty Conservation Institute; 2nd ed., 2010. Free e-book available.
A broad and detailed survey of research literature pertaining to the conservation of stone monuments, sculpture, and archaeological sites, by a key international institution working on the conservation of material cultural heritage. Current practice is reviewed for topics such as stone decay, and both preventive and remedial treatments, with integrated remarks on how individual research reports and papers address specific issues. A key section surveys testing methods and results to evaluate the short- and long-term effectiveness of alternative approaches; other important chapters discuss the role of conservation policy on the choices conservators make in their work, and how research methods themselves can be improved. The book concludes with a bibliography spanning more than 50 pages, and a section highlighting core texts, resource lists, and websites of key institutions working in the field.

Printed and Electronic Books

Journal Articles, Reports, and Web Pages