Monday, July 11, 2016

Paris Cemeteries website is new and improved!

At the risk of sounding like a very tired and very old American TV commercial selling laundry detergent, the website pariscemeteries dot com has been greatly expanded and newly updated.

After reviewing the groundbreaking work of Bertrand Beyern (print) and Philippe Landru (online) I have nearly tripled my coverage of burial spaces within the 20 arrondissements of Paris.

So, if you have a free moment or two I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions you might have about the updated website:


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Paris cemeteries central database - yes and no

Every so often I get an email asking how to find where someone is buried in Paris. I have to break the bad news: there is no central database in for the cemeteries in Paris.

That is, of course, only half true. There IS a central database BUT and this is a big one, you must demonstrate a family connection to the deceased before they will release any information to you. Once they have proof of your relationship it can then take up to a month before the request is processed.

If you qualify, then by all means contact the following department:

Service central des Cimetières
71 rue des Rondeaux
75020 Paris

Remember, you MUST be able to prove a familial relationship.

Of course, if you know the name and date of death and cemetery it's easy and simple to learn the grave location; that information is available to anyone. Just contact the cemetery in question (the conservation or office), provide the full name and date of death and they should be able to give you the precise location within the cemetery. It works best if you can go in person, of course. . .

Guide to the art in Père-Lachaise Cemetery

At long last I have finished my Guide to 1,165 Works of Art in Père-Lachaise Cemetery. It is complemented by my new website on the sculpture of Père-Lachaise.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Earliest burials in Pere-Lachaise -- was 1817 all that magical?

1817: 239-1103-8106-9448
1818: 264-1330-8107-9701
1819: 331-1495-7502-9328
1820: 413-1685-7258-9356
1821: 481-1664-7784-9929
1822: 568-1780-7650-9998

By the end of 1822 the total number of interments had grown to 111,737 of which 2,986 were permanent and 12,720 temporary graves and 96.121 were buried in mass graves.

Skipping ahead, by the end of 1875 the cemetery had witnessed 629,572 burials, which included 31,348 permanent and 118, 195 temporary grave sites.

(Source: Archives de Paris, VI.15.1.1326W, Archives des Pompes funèbres de Paris - Paris municipal funeral home archives.)

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Anton Reicha - division 7 in Pere-Lachaise then and now

Anton Reicha (1770-1836) was a Czech-born, naturalized French music composer.

1837 Normand

after the restoration in 2010

Monday, January 11, 2016

Stock photo companies misidentify Pere-Lachaise

Recently I went online to look for some aerial views of Pere-Lachaise cemetery. What I quickly discovered is that there are plenty of stock photo companies selling photos of what they claim to be Pere-Lachaise but is in fact Montparnasse cemetery. Clearly the photographers, t  outing themselves as professionals by selling through a reputable stock photo company, did not have the professional sense to make sure the image they are selling is what it's supposed to be.

The companies where I found this incredibly sloppy error include: Shutterstock, Deviantart, Dreamstime and 123rf.

The funny thing is none of these companies have any process by which someone can question the validity of a photograph or even address potential copyright conflicts. This sloppy error may just be part of a sloppy corporate culture overall.