With your help, Bellefontaine created our first dedicated archive room in 2019. Staff and volunteers have spent countless hours in this special space, cataloging and organizing historic collections of maps, research documents, photographs, and other significant artifacts. These irreplaceable relics help us paint a picture of days gone by, how Bellefontaine became the institution we are today, and how we have impacted the community over time. Now, it’s time to take this process to the next level and digitize our archives, which are rich with the history of St. Louis and the families we serve.
Your gifts will allow us to hire experts to handle these treasures safely and responsibly. Scanning and imaging documents will occur on-site, allowing our staff to continually access information critical to meeting our families’ burial and memorialization needs. This includes the “Books of the Dead,” which date all the way back to 1849, family histories, files, and more.
Through your generosity, this project can become a reality in 2024, which happens to be Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum’s 175th anniversary. What a fantastic way to help us celebrate this monumental occasion and help us ensure that those years are preserved forever. As always, your kindness and interest in Bellefontaine continue to humble me.
On behalf of the staff, Board of Trustees, our Volunteers, and the community, thank you for assisting in preserving this incredible catalog of history.
Sherry L. Smith