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Documenting death with historical traditions and objects

With thoughts of ghosts and the undead floating around during Halloween time, it is hard not to be reminded of our own mortality.  

Matt Anderson, objects curator with the Minnesota Historical Society, displays a selection of the many death-related items in the society’s collection. These objects and photos provide an insight on people’s changing views and traditions surrounding death.

Once a private household family affair, funerals today usually happen as open ceremonies in funeral homes and places of worship. And the common undertaker, who once provided portable embalming services, has evolved into the expansive role and more friendly title of funeral director.

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