I belong to a genealogy group on FB where people sometimes post photos of headstones in conjunction with their research. Yesterday one of the members of the group, on a visit from the US, visited an old graveyard and proudly posted pics to the group where she had obviously heavily chalked the inscriptions on a number of headstones.
I know applying chalk in order to read inscriptions is very tempting but there are other methods that have less impact. Is there a good guide online to those?
I have a copy in front of me of a publication from The Heritage Council - "Guidance for the Care, Conservation and Recording of Historic Graveyards". I was going to direct her to that, but there is a typo in the relevant section that mentions chalk so it reads the opposite of what I presume they intend to say.
"Memorials in a graveyard are in a constant state of decay from the natural process of weathering. It is important therefore to record the location and gather detailed information of every memorial before this data is lost as a result of this natural decaying process. Non-impact methods of recording should be used such as chalk rubbings of inscriptions or use of wire brushes to clean lichen off memorials as these impact methods speed up the process of decay. Non-impact methods of recording memorials should be used such as lighting the memorial with artificial light as described under the relevant section below."
Guessing that should read "... Non-impact methods of recording should be used AS OTHER METHODS such as chalk rubbings ..."