Preserving Diaries

Dear Donia,
How can I make a WWII diary available online?

Q. Dear Donia,

I have my grandfather's WWII diary. Can you suggest ways to make it available online? Can you recommend any free software or suggest products I can investigate?

A. Dear Michele,
Luckily for you, there are many ways to approach this, and most are within easy reach your goal.  The first step is to safely digitize the diary. If the diary opens well, you can scan if flat on a scanner.  If it is rather stiff, take digital pictures. Either way, you will want to capture the highest resolution image you can and save the images as TIFs rather than JPEGs as the format is more stable for the future. If you need to manipulate any of the images and don't have Photoshop, you can check out the myriad of free image manipulation programs out there. To find examples, see and You can then take the TIFs and create a single file PDF if you have access to Adobe Professional. If you don't you can try Nitro PDF (, a free PDF creation software.

Once you have the images or the PDF file, you can upload them onto a site such as Flickr where you can keep the files private, share with just family, or allow public access. You can also sign up for and create a blog for free where these images can live alongside a transcription, photographs, and stories.  Blogger ( or WordPress ( are two of the most popular.

I hope this helps, but if you have any further questions, just send them to "Dear Donia"!