Title and statement of responsibility area
Sally Ross Acadian Cemeteries Research Collection
General material designation
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- Ross, Sally
Physical description area
2103 photographs: 1967 negatives, 63 positive prints, 62 contact sheets, b&w & col.; 26 x 20 cm or smaller.
1 volume + 17 leaves of textual records.
1 map: printed, col.; 69 x 101 cm, folded to 22 x 12 cm.
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
Parallel titles of publisher's series
Other title information of publisher's series
Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
Note on publisher's series
Archival description area
Name of creator
Sally Ross is a writer, French translator and researcher specializing in the history and culture of the Acadians of Nova Scotia. She was born in Halifax in 1941 to Dr. Edwin F. and Phyllis Ross. She holds a B.Sc. (1962) and M.A. (1967) from Dalhousie University and a Licence ès Lettres (1966) and Doctorat de 3e cycle (1970) from the Université de Tours in France. She taught the history and culture of French Canada in the French Department at the University of Western Ontario (1970-1974) and Dalhousie University (1975-1983). For over 10 years, she worked in various capacities for the non-profit Société Promotion Grand-Pré (at the National Historic Site) and from 2009 to 2012 was their media relations person. She co-authored with Alphonse Deveau the prize-winning book The Acadians of Nova Scotia (1992), and her book Les écoles acadiennes en Nouvelle-Écosse, 1758-2000, was published by Université de Moncton in 2001. In 2003 she received funding from the Nova Scotia Museum to conduct a field survey of the Acadian cemeteries in Nova Scotia in order to select, document and photograph grave markers of particular cultural and historical significance. Articles based on this research were published in Markers XXII: Annual Journal of the Association for Gravestone Studies 2005, Port Acadie 2007 (Université Sainte-Anne), the Journal of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society and on the bilingual website Encyclopedia of the French Cultural Heritage of North America / Encyclopédie du Patrimoine Culturel de l'Amérique Française. She is a member of the Commission de l’Odyssée acadienne, devoted to the commemoration of the Deportation. As of 2013, Dr. Ross is semi-retired and lives in rural Nova Scotia.
Scope and content
Collection was created during 8 field trips and consists of black and white photographic negatives and contact sheets of 60 post-Deportation (after 1764) Acadian cemeteries, supplemented with colour prints of the oldest surviving cemetery at St. Pierre Catholic Church in Chéticamp on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, and a typed inventory describing each negative. This is not a comprehensive collection of all Acadian grave markers. Rather, the photographs represent a sampling of grave stones and monuments dating from 1817 (earliest found) to 2002, selected by Dr. Ross for their physical characteristics, French language inscriptions and historical significance. Examples in wood, stone, concrete and metal are depicted, as well as representative family names and at least one World War I or World War II veterans’ grave marker from each parish community. The layout and geographical site of each cemetery is also captured. Dr. Ross organized the photographs by community and within each community, by church cemetery. She also created a written inventory describing each photograph including the French inscription with English translations, a provincial map showing cemetery locations and a final report to the funder outlining her cultural analysis. The photographs were taken by Deborah Trask. This Collection shows the influence of French culture, and in particular the longevity of the French language, in Nova Scotia’s Acadian-founded communities through an examination of cemeteries as cultural artifacts over time.
Immediate source of acquisition
Donated to Nova Scotia Archives by Dr. Sally Ross in June 2013.
Numbering system for negatives, created by Dr. Ross, refers to film roll number (or letter) and sequential image number in that roll. Colour prints have additional cemetery row numbers in brackets.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script note
English translation provided.
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Records under copyright. Copyright held by Nova Scotia Archives.
Volume 17 of the Journal of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society (2014) contains Ross' 15 page article which brings together the findings of her study of Acadian grave markers.
Collection contains 1,901 b&w and 66 col. negatives in strips, 63 col. positive prints and 62 b&w contact sheets.
Standard number area
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
Genre access points
Women of Nova Scotia