Developing Interesting and Strategic Sidebars

Creating imaginative, thought-provoking sidebars for our commemorative book clients are a Timelines hallmark.

In the publishing field, a “sidebar” is defined as “information placed adjacent to an article…graphically separate but with contextual connection.” They present a perfect opportunity to break up blocks of copy in a chapter by highlighting, for instance, a prominent person or event associated with the particular organization.

Two specific examples of the use of sidebars appear in The Merion Cricket Club’s 150th anniversary book titled The Merion Cricket Club: A History 1865-2015. One sidebar recounts the story of a past club vice president who was aboard the ill-fated Titanic, when the ship sank April 15, 1912. Although a tragic tale, the sidebar allows the reader to gain insight into the member’s connection to Merion (his father was the club’s third president), interesting stories related to his business life at the Pennsylvania Railroad, his accomplishments as a cricketer, as well as the contributions he made to the club. On a happier note, the short essay concludes with the amazing tale of survival of his 17 year-old son, who was rescued from the icy waters of the North Atlantic.

A second sidebar features the contributions of J. Howard Pew, the well known philanthropist. Besides being involved in numerous business ventures, his social and athletic calendars were a priority as well. Mr. Pew was a longtime member of both the Cricket Club and Merion Golf Club. In 1941-42, her served as president of both clubs, simultaneously, during the Depression and World War II years. Without fanfare or self aggrandizement, he personally underwrote the expenses of both clubs for a number of years, when neither organization could meet their financial obligations. If not for his generosity and financial wherewithal, the very survival of both clubs would have been in serious jeopardy. It’s a fact that not many club members were aware of today.

In the end, sidebars can enhance commemorative histories in numerous ways.


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