Thursday, March 20, 2008

Return To Sender

I have a poignant letter written by my husband's great aunt to his grandmother that I would like to include in the family history. It discusses a tragic accident that altered his grandmother's and his father's life.

I have been looking for an interesting and unique way of displaying that letter in a family history book and I believe I have finally found a method I like.

I scanned the original letter, adjusted the levels and cleaned the unwanted spots, dust, etc. I then printed the letter on paper that was similar to the paper of the original letter. I cut the letter down to the same size as the original and folded it in the same manner.

I transcribed the original letter and printed it within the history, along with the information about the accident. On the page to the left (the opposite page) of the transcription, I attached an envelope with double sided tape and inserted the scanned letter. Now, the family can hold a facsimile of the original letter in their hands, in their ancestor's handwriting. I think this carries more impact than just a scanned image printed within the book.



Blogger Lidian said...

That is a truly inspired idea! I will have to try that. You are amazing, you know!

March 20, 2008 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...


Thanks for the "amazing" remark, but I'm a few diamonds short of a tiara.


March 20, 2008 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger TERRY SNYDER said...

As usual, your creativity astounds me. I would never have thought of displaying a letter in quite that manner. My mind is now abuzz with how I can adapt your idea to a cookbook of my grandmother's recipes that I am working on. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful idea!

March 20, 2008 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger Thomas MacEntee said...

A wonderful idea and I've always liked books that allow the user to explore and interact (notice I said user, not reader).

What you created reminds me of the series of books by Nick Bantock, namely the Griffin & Sabine series. It is a "journey" of romance between two people and the reader has to open colorful envelopes with letters, or pull out postcards, etc. to understand the story.

You are a creative woman and I am just as amazed (but really not surprised) as everyone else!

March 21, 2008 at 3:24 AM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...


Thank you so much for your comments.

I am looking into displaying recipes my mother-in-law wrote on three by five cards.

I will be more than glad to share if I find a creative solution.



So glad you liked the idea!

I'm off to look at your book recommendation, it sounds so interesting!

I have always been good at adapting someone else's creativity to family history. I don't think I've ever had an original thought.


March 21, 2008 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

This is a wonderful idea! I hope I can adopt it when I get copies of the Civil War letters I'm traveling to Michigan for. I'm glad you share your creative ideas so freely - I never would have thought of this.

March 24, 2008 at 3:50 PM  

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