Digitizing a Damaged Letter

Dear Donia,
How do I restore a water-damaged letter to make it readable again?

water-damaged letter

Q. Dear Donia,

I have a handwritten letter that my grandmother wrote about her life. Somehow water got to it and parts of it are unreadable. Is there a way to recover it so that all parts can be readable again? Thanks, Brandi 

A. Dear Brandi,

Unfortunately, many of the inks that we work with, particularly those from the mid- to late 20th century, are water soluble and bleed as you have experienced. It is very difficult to, if not impossible, to recover the writing. The only chance you have is through digital enhancement. If you can find someone in your area that does digital restoration of photographs, they may be able to help as they would have the specialty scanning equipment.

I wish I could give you happier news.