Story: Death and dying

Memorial cards and programmes (1st of 2)

Memorial cards and programmes

There are various ways of remembering those who have died. In 18th century Europe memorial cards became a customary way to remember the dead, and their use expanded in the late 19th century as postal services developed. These cards were sent to family and friends within six months of the funeral service. Sometimes the words used on the card were those carved on the tombstone.

This memorial card was printed in memory of William John Small, one of many children who died in the late 19th century. In the 2000s memorial cards could be ordered using internet websites and then distributed through the post to friends and family. New ways of remembering those who have died include establishing websites or creating a page on an existing website where people can post reflections about the person who has died.

About this item

Auckland City Libraries - Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Reference: Eph-Cards-InMem-1887

Permission of Auckland City Libraries Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Ruth McManus and Rosemary Du Plessis, 'Death and dying - Funeral and memorial services', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/ephemera/30406/memorial-cards-and-programmes (accessed 17 October 2017)

Story by Ruth McManus and Rosemary Du Plessis, published 5 May 2011