The Language of Memory


Rachel Asquith
Jen Bartlett
Sarah Austin
Joe Savage


The Language of Memory is an attempt to distill the vocabulary of funerary monuments into the essence of commemoration. We combined specific inscriptions from York Cemetery with a database of inscriptions from Mout St Lawrence Cemetery, Limerick as maps and word clouds, with the final product being a single gravestone expressing the complete range of memorial language over two centuries.


About ‘The Language of Memory’

Building on their shared experience visiting York Cemetery and imagining the stories behind the epitaphs and the monuments there, this group set themselves the task of visualising the subtleties of the language of commemoration.  The group blended qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis, uniting two cemetery datasets to produce a series of map and word-based visualisations.  By the end of the Jam day the team’s efforts coalesced into a single, gripping image condensing the entire vocabulary of commemoration into a ‘monument of monuments’.  It is at once statistical analysis, visualisation, record and poetry.  It rewards close attention and whispers with the voices of thousands seeking to preserve the memories of their loved ones over the centuries.

The Visualisation

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