worked and provides a cautionary tale for those who leap to conclusions about material objects without doing their homework. Finally, Kimberly D. Dugan and Ronald W. Anthony’s essay takes gravemarker studies from the realm of the theoretical to the venue of the scientific and the practical. These noted preservationists and scientists offer low-cost and preventative strategies that can be used by cemetery stewards to “forestall the deterioration of irreplaceable civic and personal historic resources.” Science has rarely been one of the multiple disciplines represented by Markers scholarship, yet its fundamental importance to the field should be obvious. No scholar will be able to study, analyze, and theorize about monuments unless they are preserved, both for the witness they bear to the existence of lives and communities and for their cultural significance. Taken together, these four essays illustrate the challenges of material studies in general and of gravestone studies in particular: the need to stay on the cutting edge of a discipline that prides itself on engaging the interests of both academics and non-academics; the importance of flexible thinking that views material phenomena through a variety of lenses; the necessity for thoughtful, time-consuming, unglamorous field research; and, perhaps above all, the crucial importance of addressing what gravestone scholar Scott Baird calls the “so what?” of the data, especially as it relates to a national or international construction of culture. Markers is currently indexed in the Bibliography of the History of Art, America: History and Life, Historical Abstracts, and the MLA International Bibliography. In partnership with the University of Massachusetts–Amherst Special Collections Library, the Association for Gravestone Studies has now archived past issues of Markers on the University of MassachusettsAmherst Libraries website for free viewing and downloading. Prospective contributors should consult the editorial guidelines on the AGS website at www.gravestonestudies.org. Please send questions, comments, and submissions to June Hadden Hobbs at P.O. Box 1345, Boiling Springs, NC, 28017-1345 or email@example.com. J.H.H. Correction: The photos of Dr. James A. Slater on p. 9 of Markers XXVI should have been attributed to Ruth Shapleigh-Brown. The editor regrets this omission.
1. Cary Carson, “Material Culture History: The Scholarship Nobody Knows,” in American Material Culture:The Shape of the Field, ed. Ann Smart Martin and J. Ritchie Garrison (Wintherhur, DE: Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, 1997), 420.
Annual Journal of the Association for Gravestone Studies