Lincoln Telegrams book project

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On this page we are exploring various design aspects of a project to construct a book version of the Lincoln Telegrams.

Clinton Chapman, Chris Langford, Vince Lastreto completed this proposal for the book in ECI 727, Digital History and Pedagogy, spring 2013

Below are some design book considerations from graduate students in ECI 727, Digital History and Pedagogy, spring 2012.. Please add you thoughts to this document in the categories listed. Feel free to add additional categories.

Visual features

Here are some images that we might use in addition to the telegram images - from Aaron



Also posted on Glogster -

And, search American Memory on "telegraph" and get over 4000 results!

Book size and architecture

Over-sized, coffee table other? Below is a screen shot from, the online publishing service that we will use, with the the options for book sizes.

-We have to keep size in mind (for publishing sake) when we talk about over-sized, coffee table books. It should be large enough to get a good view of the original transcript.


Dr. Lee - Would the cost of publishing change depending on the size of dimensions of the book. Not just number of pages, but the size of the face? - Drew

Personally, I like the Landscape 9X7. I think it would allow for extra room along the edges of the page for adding tidbits of information or smaller artwork. - Anna

Design features

- I think a modified version of the timeline would work. In other words I think they could be grouped thematically, but in chronological order within the themes. If not that, then have some way for them to view the telegram, and then see dates of telegrams related to it. Basically it could be like how we did our Wiki project. I think Drew's idea is great.

One possible feature could a timeline that indicates where the telegram is in a chronology of telegrams featured in the book. We might also feature related events in US and Civil War history

- I like the idea of a timeline. There used to be a world history textbook that I taught with that had a timeline that ran along the bottom of the page. All major events and people were placed on the timeline on the page in which the book discussed them. It was very helpful to my students to be able to see where and when in history people and events were happening. - Anna

-I think chronology is the easiest way to group the telegrams. Maybe marking them with symbols about what the telegram contains would be another way to easily organize the telegram.

• Chronological order makes sense to me, and depending on how the book is made, we could use tabs to mark changing seasons or important events.

- While I like chronological order best, we could group telegrams by topic and use the timeline idea to show the reader where the telegram falls chronologically. - Anna

Dr. Lee - Remember when we had to develop ten themes from the telegrams at the beginning of class? going along with an idea someone said in class, we could create a symbol for each theme (i.e. a scale for law/justice) and at a certain part of the page there would be the symbols so the reader could get a glimpse of the what telegram was about.

- I also like the idea of putting the page numbers in parentheses next to people's names, events, ect.. so that people can immediately go to other telegrams that relate to the topic they are reading about. - Drew

Page layout

The standard page might include an image and all or a portion of the analytical text associated with the telegram.

-Possibly pictures of the people written to?

-Telegram, summary, maybe a historical question to get the readers thinking/inferring?

• On some pages, I think it would be helpful to include maps that mark the "path" of the telegram. I think it would help people develop an understanding of certain past events if they can see where Lincoln is and where the recipient is.

- We could have some specialty pages that only have important pictures that more than one telegram can reference (like a battle map, or a map of important cities). - Anna

- I think it is important to have the whole image of the telegram. I like the idea of a historical question to get the reader thinking. - Anna

Cover design

Original art for the cover would be nice

- The original artwork does sound cool. I think it needs to be eye catching. As a coffee table we actually want people to see it and immediately want to pick it up. What about something with Lincoln holding an over sized telegram?

- I have asked a friend of mine (extremely artistic) to draw some original pieces of Lincoln to contribute to the book [either cover or inserts]).

- I think original artwork throughout the book, with the exception maybe of maps.

Scope (what should be include in the book)

-This book should include the original transcript as well as the summary of the telegram.

-In some way shape or form we should try to include 'inserts' or 'tidbits' about the people the telegram is addressed to.

• Perhaps the scope could be explicitly educational. So...telegram, transcript, a little background, and then some questions to help scaffold the interpretation.

• I supposed we should remember to include a considerable amount of information about the development of the telegraph itself.

Pedagogy Since this book is coming from, in essence, should we include a few pages of how to use this book (or copies, or website) in a high school classroom? I'm thinking some templates that teachers can photocopy to use with the materials in the book. Jslist 11:30, 4 May 2011 (MDT)