A blog about my interests, which include crazy quilting and various and assorted other artsy pursuits and sometimes known to contain mumblings of a random nature.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Huge project of the historical sort

Lately I've been doing a lot of research about book publishing. It's not exactly an enthralling subject to read about. Quite boring actually. Mind-numbing. However, there IS a reason for it and here you see a couple of pictures of my 'project'. This over-large tome is the diary of my great-great grandfather (John Albert Michie, b. Oct 17, 1813, d. Feb. 15, 1900) which was written from February 24, 1869 until March 22, 1899. He was a farmer and wrote on a daily basis about the daily life of the times. Fascinating reading, if you like that sort of thing.
I'm told there is an interest amongst genealogists and historians for this type of subject matter, so I am going to attempt to have it published, probably in two volumes. The original is in a state of disrepair and cannot withstand too much handling so it is best to recopy it very carefully.

I've been wrestling with a lot of decisions concerning the book(s)...should I re-write it in it's entirety or should I edit out what is of the same old/same old wording? Do I include the fact that each and every day he recorded the weather conditions? How do I make the book seem interesting enough for people to want to read? What computer program do I use; what font; what size; what pictures to include; what, what, what...and better yet, HOW am I going to find time to do something of this magnitude?? I realize the historical value of it all and, because of that, I'm sure it is a project well worth undertaking, but at what cost?

Decisions, decisions.....

oh....and just to make the whole thing even MORE interesting is that John's son wrote about HIS life covering at least another 40 years!!!


  1. Anonymous7:50 PM

    Robert certainly spent a lot of time sawing wood! Why did Mother spend so much time in bed?

    Have you contacted a museum about this?

  2. 15 minutes of typing a day. get it into the computer, then make the big decisions, it'll be easier. :-)

  3. One of my nephews is a journalist/writer/editor. With your permission, I'll show him a copy of your blog and see if he can offer helpful advice on how to organize this work, or, where/whom you should get in touch with if he himself isn't able to help. I'll be seeing him on Good Friday.... (family get together - leg of lamb, mint etc).....
    email me.

  4. Anonymous4:44 PM

    this would be an interesting project, especially if you could employ a secretary to do your typing...
    I wouldnt re-write it word for word - how may pages of ' up, milked the cow, had brekkie etc ...' would there be? . what about writing *about* the book, including scanned pages of the original. for me (but i am no historian) the charm is in the old handwriting and paper, which would be lost if re-typed. I think a facsimile of the original would be more interesting.
    good luck!

  5. MaryAnne, I'd also be interested to know why Mother was always in bed. Was she recovering from a baby's birth or awaiting one, ill with TB or consumption, or just a late riser? I agree with other comments about being selective in re-writing some of the days, perhaps you could link the days to other historical events in the area?
    Certainly a big project, not to be rushed. Definately need to engage a typist, perhaps even a uni student who would take a small payment for services, or accept some craft as payment?
    Will follow this project with interest when you get going, good luck.

    PS have just used some of "your" silk fabric for an ATC for the person who won the giveaway on my own blog, how neat is that !!


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