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Publishing My Grandmother's Diaries

For years now, I've wanted to publish my grandmother's diaries.  At first I thought about doing it for only the family, but I think seeing the perspective of a 17 year old in 1921 in a small town in Michigan would be fascinating to others as well.  The problem is that I don't want to transcribe her writing.  I personally think her script and vernacular is what makes the diaries so interesting.  So I would prefer to scan the diaries and add sidebars that include tidbits of information that explain a little more what was going on around her and inside her head, as well as adding her photos of that era. 

It seems like everyone else who has taken on a project like this transcribes.  Would it be weird to scan the actual diaries for a book?
Not all those who wander are lost

Comments

  • No, not at all. One thing to check though, and this is the final quality of the scans, if they look good, well, great, crack on. If not, if they're smudgy / ghosty / weak in some way, then OCR them and / or type it out anew. It's more important that the words are preserved than basing a book on poor scans where some perhaps much is not readable, or difficult to read.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    For years now, I've wanted to publish my grandmother's diaries.  At first I thought about doing it for only the family, but I think seeing the perspective of a 17 year old in 1921 in a small town in Michigan would be fascinating to others as well.

    Indeed it would. Better still if you could include photos.

      The problem is that I don't want to transcribe her writing.  I personally think her script and vernacular is what makes the diaries so interesting. 

    That will still come across even if you do transcribe it. It is what it says and how it says it that matters, not how you reproduce it.

     So I would prefer to scan the diaries and add sidebars that include tidbits of information that explain a little more what was going on around her and inside her head,

    As John has said, it needs to be readable, so I would definitely recommend typing it out. Even if you scan using OCR, it often needs a serious Proofreading and adjustments because OCR can only do its best.

     as well as adding her photos of that era.

    That would indeed be ideal if they are her own originals. Scan those at a very hi-res as jpgs, then resize to suit the pages. Some may have to be placed on the pages as portrait to appear better, but there's no harm in that.

     It seems like everyone else who has taken on a project like this transcribes.  Would it be weird to scan the actual diaries for a book?

    Not at all. You could do both. A scan of the original with the transcription on the opposing page.

  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor
    It would be very very weird and no one will buy it. People these days are lazy and don't want to decipher someone else's handwriting. They barely write or read a note a day.

    The only reason handwriting would have value over type is fame, notoriety or holiness. I would read Jesus' handwriting or Mother Theresa's or the Queen's. I love her and she is the cutest thing alive.

    That being said, if it were transcribed ( and proofread) I would definitely read it.
     A citizen of the world.

  • This sounds a lot like my situation. I want to write my dad's story which is already hand written and a lot on voice recorder. But it's all out of order according to how things happened so it's a pain going through it all. I know no one would read his hand written notes even with his interesting hand-script.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    The only reason handwriting would have value over type is fame, notoriety or holiness. I would read Jesus' handwriting or Mother Theresa's or the Queen's.

    I doubt you could read them, and not just because they are handwritten.

     I love her and she is the cutest thing alive.

    Well she is a sort of 'Pocket' Queen, but would you like to have her? She's very high maintenance. Very expensive to keep.

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