Given the restrictions on air travel of late, it is perhaps timely to flag up a new guide to unpublished Travel Writing in the Wellcome Library’s collections.
Arranged by geographic region, the guide gives an overview of relevant manuscript material in our collections. It’s one of a series of thematic sources guides designed to assist users of our archives and manuscript collections to identify material of particular relevance to their research.
The Travel Writing sources guide covers records of travel dating from the 18th–20th centuries, generally in diary or journal form which contain descriptions of journeys, places and experiences.
These records were kept by all manner of practitioners of medicine and the travels described are equally wide ranging, including journeys of exploration, touring holidays and the experiences of naval surgeons. Most corners of the globe are covered: from the Arctic Circle to Antarctica and from the East to West Indies.
As well illustrating the breadth of our collections, the sources guide acts as a first step in carrying out research into our archives. For more detailed subject searching, you can run keyword or subject searches in the Archives and Manuscripts on–line catalogue, from which material can be ordered for consultation in the Rare Materials Room.
And if your horizons stretch further than our travel writing guide, a full list of our other archives and manuscripts sources guides is available from the Wellcome Library website.
Image above is an illustration of Ascension Island, from the travel journals of Naval surgeon Fleetwood Buckle (MSS.1395-1404).