Tom is currently working on a short book about his parents and their experiences during World War II. As he sorted through the stacks of paper he inherited after his father's death nine years ago, he came across some ephemera that Wendell, a Naval aviator, had kept from the war. Included were some Chinese currency and a flight log. Each in its way has a unique appeal: the currency for its bright colors and exotic images, the logbook for its rustic well-used practicality. Both add a sense of drama and reality to the story.
Using documents to help illustrate your personal or family history is a great way to add visual interest and emotional impact, especially if you don't have a lot of photographs. Make sure that whatever you choose to include has some value in connection with your story - for instance, you may want to add the concert tickets from your first date with your spouse, but not from every concert you've ever attended.
Here are some examples of things you could add to your history:
letters, postcards, telegrams
theater or concert tickets from special events
passports, train tickets, travel documents
handwritten recipes, ration cards, green stamps
newspaper clippings, theater programs
report cards, childhood drawings
dance cards, invitations, thank you cards
certificates, homework assignments
journal or other handwriting samples
Use your imagination! What do you have laying around that might augment your personal history?