George Mason University history professor Mills Kelly, by his own admission, always has liked cemeteries, in part for what they tell us about the past. Now, he's designed a course designed to get his students out among the gravestones. He calls it "Dead in Virginia."
Looking for a new way to teach old things, Kelly requires students enrolled in the 300-level historical methods course to choose a family cemetery in or around Fairfax County and dig up as much information as they can about those buried there.
The students will post the fruits of their search -- including photos, maps and descriptions of people -- to MyCemetery.org, a free and open database website that Kelly created for the course that can be used by others who are seeking information about people who once lived, worked and died in Fairfax County and its environs.
You can read more in an article by Holly Hobbs in the FarfaxTimes web site at http://www.fairfaxtimes.com/cms/story.php?id=3131
My thanks to Mary Lipsey for telling me about this article.