Paris to Russia

Paris photograph album

Paris, France

Photograph album of a trip to Europe, 1938

This photograph album documents the European trip of a young American lady. On August 3, 1938, three years prior to her marriage, Elizabeth R. Felix (later Parrack), made the voyage to Europe aboard the S. S. Normandie. A proper tourist, Parrack took photographs of her journey aboard ship and her travels through Paris, Interlaken, Lucerne, Heidelberg, Frankfurt, Cologne, Amsterdam, Brussels, London, and smaller towns in between.

Elizabeth R. F. Parrack photograph album, 1938, Ms. Coll. 1080

(Pisa): Illustration in a letter from Charles Godfrey Leland to George Henry Boker

Pisa, Italy

Illustration in a letter from Charles Godfrey Leland to George Henry Boker, 1869

If Charles Godfrey Leland, humorist and folklorist, were still alive, we would be doing everything in our power to get him to write letters to us! During his travels in 1869, Leland wrote fourteen illustrated letters to his friend George Henry Boker. Every letter reveals Leland’s wit (and occasional snarkiness!) and each is a visual delight with elaborately illuminated initials and humorous sketches.

Charles Godfrey Leland letters to George Henry Boker, 1861-1937 (bulk: 1869-1870), Ms. Coll. 1070

Puerto Rico map

Puerto Rico

Map of San Juan, 1844

While much of this volume consists of the alphabet written in various ornamental and calligraphic styles, Juan Rosell y Arrufat also drew a number of images, including landscapes, a cemetery, a collection of various national flags, and street maps. This bright and cheerful map of Puerto Rico is as colorful as the architecture one will find on a visit to San Juan.

Juan Rosell y Arrufat album, Libro de varias clases de letras, 1843-1846, Ms. Coll. 1139

(Quebec): Menu for trip from Canada to England

Quebec, Canada

Menu for a trip from Canada to England aboard the Empress of England, 1957

Ship folk are great document-ers (so, of course, archivists love them). This single menu tells a researcher so much. On the last day of the voyage from Montreal, Canada, to Liverpool, England (with a stop in Quebec to exchange pilots), passengers were given this menu with details about the trip. The weather at the end of July in 1957 was generally cloudy and overcast. Nice--probably little risk of sunburn. The sea was generally calm--we can hope no one was seasick. Especially since the "Diner au Revoir" upon the Empress of England was so fine: a choice between Calf's Head en Tortue and Breaded Lamb Tongues Reforme. DE-LI-CIOUS!

Stuart Curran-Joseph Wittreich Milton Collection, VM383.E47 D56 1957

Quetta, Pakistan map

Quetta, Pakistan

Map, 1935

Guy R. Lambert was a Lieutenant Colonel in the 1st Field Brigade, 98th Field Battery Royal Artillery based in Quetta, Pakistan. He witnessed and documented the 1935 Quetta earthquake, which killed over 30,000 people. In addition to this hand-drawn map of Quetta, this amazing volume also contains letters, photographs, and Lambert's typed daily accounts of the earthquake from its occurrence at 3:00 a.m. on May 31 to June 9, 1935, in which he describes digging for survivors, the number of deaths, military aid and response, and the catastrophic destruction of Quetta.

Guy R. Lambert scrapbook, 1935, Ms. Coll. 1388

(Risborough, England): A description of appalling travel conditions

Risborough, England

A description of appalling travel conditions, 1813

Henry Wansey (1751-1827), a commercial traveler, wrote about his travels with contempt and displeasure! His grumpy and disparaging descriptions of towns otherwise known for their charm and character are written in such an engagingly miserable manner that readers, oddly, might find themselves wanting to share his experiences. Unlike most travelers who seem to wax poetic over their trips, our Wansey is perfectly frank and unapologetically crabby.

Henry Wansey "A Commercial Traveller's Journals," 1816, Ms. Codex 1733

(Russia): Travel diary and sketchs


Travel diary and sketches, 1838

Mrs. Daw traveled with her husband from London to Moscow and wrote almost daily about their experiences and observations, embellishing her text with eighteen spectacular watercolor sketches. In addition to this one showing the interior of a Russian church, one of our favorites is of the Whirling Dervishes, painted during the couple’s stay in Turkey. You can see all of the sketches and read Mrs. Daws’s narrative here

Mrs. Daw's travel diaries, 1838, Ms. Coll. 850