I was preparing for a talk I'm giving on diaries and manuscripts and came across this site, which is part of a larger one on e-scrapbooking. This diary begins in 1916, when Louise was still in high school and ends it in 1919.
When Larry Johnson saw it on E-bay, it caught his interest and he purchased it. He and his wife(Annette Lamb) then set about finding out everything they could about the person who kept the diary and the environment she lived in. Using official records, yearbooks, books that covered the history of the events of that time, census records and a variety of other sources, they created a vivid and detailed account of the life of a young woman.
It turns out that Louise Hancock is no one's direct ancestor. She married in 1922, but suffered from tuberculosis and died at the age of 25 in 1924, leaving no children. Larry Johnson and Annette Lamb brought her back to life... and on their site they tell how they did it. It's a great site... combining human interest, inspiration and instruction.