You might find it worth trying 'digikam' first if you have many pages to 
process and are more interested in legibility than final aesthetic 

I've used it a lot for "restoring" old documents:
Image=>Edit=>Color=>Auto-correction offers you 4 types of correction. 
One or other of these will usually improve matters considerably.
I use gimp only for the occasionally necessary final tweak or 
particularly difficult document.


James wrote:
> Hi. I have an elderly friend whose father kept a diary during WW2. The diary
> is written in pencil on poor quality paper that has yellowed considerably with
> age. The text is still pretty legible but as time passes it will become less
> so. I decided I could photograph pages of the diary and enhance them using
> Gimp. The final result should be something that can be printed out on a
> computer printer, i.e., greyscale/b&w. I took the photos in color, thinking
> I'd have more manipulation options, then could make the images greyscale.
> I'm not any kind of gimp power user or anything--I usually just feel my way
> around the program and usually get it to do the fairly simple graphic
> manipulations I want. So far, that method has not worked well for this
> project. So I'd like to ask some tips here on accomplishing the goal I'm
> after. Ideally, I'd like all the yellowed paper that forms the background of
> these images to turn as close to white as possible, while all the pencil text
> should be as close to black as possible. Can anyone point me to things I can
> try under gimp that will help me accomplish these aims?

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