First Fridays: Mount Auburn Digitization Days

April 3, 2018

Mount Auburn Cemetery is pleased to announce that we are starting a new program to help us tell the stories of the more than 100,000 remarkable individuals buried and commemorated at the Cemetery. These stories will be shared on our new online Memorial Pages 

In conjunction with the launch of our online Memorial Pages, we are pleased to offer an exciting new program to digitize memorabilia relating to individuals buried and commemorated at Mount Auburn.

This free service will be offered to the public on the first Friday of each month, beginning Friday May 4th between the hours of 10:00 AM -12:00 PM.

By appointment only. To sign up for First Fridays: Digitization Days, please visit:

Mount Auburn’s staff will meet you in the Visitor Center in Story Chapel at 580 Mount Auburn Street Cambridge, MA.

We recommend that you bring in 3-5 documents, photos, or small objects (smaller than 11 x 17 inches) that we will scan or photograph as time allows. You are welcome to make additional appointments.

Memorabilia can include anything you would like to digitize to illustrate the life of the person, including portraits, photographs, letters, scrapbooks, diplomas, awards, and talks.

We will return your original materials to you and give you a flash drive of your digitized files and instructions on how to add these images to Mount Auburn’s new online Memorial Pages.

Please note that we are also looking for materials that document Mount Auburn through the years such as photographs or accounts of visitors and staff at the Cemetery, funerals in the Cemetery, views of the Cemetery and its landscape, monuments, and structures. If you have any collections that you would like to share with our curator, please make an appointment.



Isabella Stewart Gardner Tomb Preservation Underway

March 29, 2018

The Gardner family tomb overlooks picturesque Auburn Lake in Mount Auburn Cemetery, and is one of our most timeless and beloved treasures. Consistently the focal point of tours led by the Friends of Mount Auburn, the tomb is frequently visited by devoted fans of Isabella Stewart Gardner, members and supporters of the Gardner Museum, and our more than 200,000 visitors a year. Today, with the vicissitudes of time, the tomb’s surfaces and interior have suffered marked erosion and are urgently in need of preservation. Thanks to a leadership gift from the estate of a Gardner family member, work is underway to restore and stabilize this important structure.

Set into the hillside overlooking the north end of Auburn Lake, the family tomb was built in 1859 using Concord Granite with a brick foundation and marble tile floor. Among the family members interred in the tomb are Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840 – 1924) and her husband, John Gardner (1837 – 1898). Their son was also buried here in 1868. The exterior façade of the tomb features distinctive incised carvings with a Greek key design, as well as a large oak door with bronze decorative elements. Inside the tomb, two marble portrait sculptures by the French artist Jules Clement commemorate two children who died within days of each other in 1865. A bust of a young girl represents Catherine Elizabeth Gardner (1857 – 1865), and an oval bas-relief profile depicts Samuel Pickering Gardner (1864 – 1865), most likely the children of George Augustus and Eliza Endicott Peabody Gardner. (more…)