Best way to add Charles Melanson letters to Gov. Stoughton to his profile

+3 votes

Back in 2006 I wrote to the Massachusetts Archives requesting copies of letters Charles Melanson sent to William Stoughton, acting governor of Massachusetts. They sent back three letters. I'd like to add these to Charles' profile, but I'm not sure of the best way to do it. The collection consists of six scanned images: The front and back of the envelope they're stored in, two single page letters and one two-page letter. What would be the best option for adding them to the profile?

  • The six individual JPEGs
  • All pages in a single PDF
  • Envelope front and back in one document, single letters in two documents, two-page letter in one document
  • Something else
Nice timing as we're approaching the anniversary of the first letter, which is dated August 3, 1695.
WikiTree profile: Charles Melanson dit La Ramée
in Genealogy Help by Barbara MacDougall G2G1 (1.9k points)

2 Answers

+2 votes
Hi Barbara, before deciding on how to add them to the profile, you probably need to check who actually has the copyright of those letters, and whether there were any conditions To your receiving copies.

It seems odd I know because they were written so long ago, but i know that different archival services can set either copyrights or conditions under which material can be published.
by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (455k points)
I would not put something up that's copyrighted. In this case it doesn't matter if it was written 333 years ago or yesterday. They are letters to a government official, which in Massachusetts (and probably most states) makes it public domain. Massachusetts puts no restrictions on what you can do with this type of document.
+5 votes
I can't speak to the copyright issues, but I really dislike PDFs, because they don't display even as a thumbnail on this site.

Here's what I did with some old letters for one of my profiles.  I incorporated small text extracts from the letters into his profile in order to tell the reader what the point of the letters were - how did they fit into his life, etc.  (By the way for you this would definitely be ok under copyright as it is "fair use").  It really makes the profile come to life.  Then I typed out all of the letters, gave them their own page as a Free Space profile, and uploaded my transcripts and the scans.  This will give you an idea:
by Crispin Reedy G2G6 Mach 4 (42.2k points)
I love this. That solves all the problems associated with the letters. Thanks!

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