We are delighted to announce that Oxford researchers now have access to Travel Writing, Spectacle and World History.
It is a fascinating collection of wide-ranging materials drawing on the collections of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library (Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University), the pre-eminent library for the study of American women. Its collections include the papers of Susan B. Anthony, Julia Child, Shirley Graham Du Bois, Amelia Earhart, Betty Friedan, Pauli Murray, Adrienne Rich and other notable women.
This resource brings together hundreds of accounts by women of their travels across the globe from the early nineteenth century to the late twentieth century. Students and researchers will find sources covering a variety of topics, including architecture, art, the British Empire, climate, customs, exploration, family life, housing, industry, language, monuments, mountains, natural history, politics and diplomacy, race, religion, science, shopping and war.
A wide variety of forms of travel writing are included, ranging from unique manuscripts, diaries and correspondence to drawings, guidebooks and photographs. The resource also includes a gallery with hundreds of items of visual material, including postcards, sketches photographs and even passports.
Time period covered
A broad time period is covered. The earliest document is a letter from Lucretia Goddard to her cousin describing the wedding of Mehetable May Dawes to Samuel Goddard on 30 September 1818, after which the Goddards went to England for nine years, living initially in Liverpool and then in Manchester. The latest documents are Ida Pruitt’s notes and correspondence from the early 1970s concerning her visits to China.
What will you discover?
The sources can also be used to examine the variety of motivations for travel, including tourism, work, exploration, missionary activities and pilgrimages: accounts range from the first trip of a young student abroad to the spiritual journey of a retired woman seeking enlightenment.
Voyages by rail, road, sea and air are all covered, as are walking, cycling and even a journey by stagecoach. Some items are relatively brief, such as a record of a car journey when cars were relatively new, which records the places that were passed through, the weather and the road conditions. Others are daily journals which describe long tours of Europe, in which all the details of the trip are meticulously recorded. Then there are scrapbooks containing fantastic visual material such as photographs, postcards, cuttings and sketches and other ephemera.
Places visited include the USA and Canada; China, Japan and the Philippines; Europe (very well documented); Russia; Africa; and Australia.
The above text is largely based on Nature & Scope in Travel Writing, Spectacle and World History, Adam Matthew Digtital.