Book-Shaped Urns

I was alerted to an unusual blog this week called Death Reference Desk in which they mentioned an earlier topic I had discussed. They talk about the Wilhelm’s Portland Memorial Funeral home and the Rae Family Room.

At one point, the writer describes book-shaped urns, something I had never heard of before. They also provide a link to a photo of a room filled with urns. Toward the bottom of this photo are what appear to be books. I believe these are what the author probably saw, or something similar. I also enjoy her perspective as a librarian:

One of the highlights of my visit was seeing the various urns in their “niches” as they are called. The variety is pretty astounding — from humble and plain to ornate and fancy, with the standing of Portland’s wealthiest and middle-class in evidence. In death, it seems, we are all still not equal. As a librarian, I was especially taken with the urns that take the form of books on a shelf. Whole families have been memorialized in this way with mother, father, son, daughter “bound” together and held upright by bookends on either side.

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About repplinger

John has served as a Reference Librarian at Willamette University since 2002. He is the liaison to the Science Departments, and is responsible for maintaining the collections related to the life & physical sciences. His research interests range over the entire spectrum of libraries and information sciences, but includes: - Google and its influence on information & society - The Internet's influence on information seeking & sharing behaviors - Trends of scholarly communication - Electronic learning environments - Traditional pedagogy - GIS use in academic libraries

Posted on August 21, 2009, in Libraries, Mysteries and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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