Navigation Aids

 
 
 
 
 
History Research Guides

Sidebar

Main Content

Travel and Exploration Narratives and Guide Books

Travel and Exploration narratives can be primary sources of great importance to researchers in the fields of history, anthropology, literature, and related disciplines. This guide identifies and describes some of the most significant indexing tools and full-text sources of such narratives.
Contents:

Franklin Searches 
For travel and exploration narratives or travel guide books try doing the following KEYWORD searches in the subject field:
  • skey "description and travel" and skey africa [or another location]
  • skey "description and travel" and skey women
  • skey "description and travel" and skey african americans
  • skey "disovery and exploration" and skey america [or another location]
  • skey "disovery and exploration" and skey women
  • skey "guidebooks" and skey location

For guide books also try doing AUTHOR searchers for corporate authors of guide book series:

  • Federal Writers Project (series of government funded guides to localities funded by the Works Progress
  • Administration during the Great Depression)
  • Karl Baedeker (Guide books from the 19th and early 20th centuries)
  • John Murray (Guide books from the 19th and early 20th centuries)


Bibliographies of Travel Narratives 
Bibliographies of Travel Narratives From Around the World 
A reference guide to the literature of travel, including voyages, geographical descriptions, adventures, shipwrecks and expeditons, by Edward Godfrey Cox. Seattle, The University of Washington, 1935-49.
Lists in chronological order to 1800 books on travel, voyages, and description published in Great Britain. The editor's goal was to include every significant published book of which he was aware. Does not include pamphlets.
Location:[Rare Bk & Ms Library: Z6011 .C87, 3 vols.]
Wayward women : a guide to women travellers / Jane Robinson. New York : Oxford University Press, c1990.
Provides biobibliographical entries for over 400 women whose first hand travel accounts were published in book form. Most of the women included are British or of British extraction, used English as a first language, and traveled outside their native lands.
Location:[Van Pelt Library Reference Stacks: G200 .R63 1990]
American travellers abroad : a bibliography of accounts published before 1900 / Harold F. Smith. Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, 1999.
Location:[Van Pelt Library Reference Stacks: G222 .S5 1999]
In foreign parts : books and pamphlets on the world beyond Western Europe printed before 1900 in Canterbury Cathedral Library / compiled by Helen Southwood ; revised by David Shaw with an introduction by Glenn Bowman. Canterbury : Dean and Chapter, Canterbury Cathedral, 2000.
Items were chosen because they are relevant to the study of "contact between western Europeans and the "Other."
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: Z921.C24 C363 2000]
Bio-bibliografma de viajeros espaqoles (siglo XIX) / Carlos Garcma-Romeral Pirez. Madrid : Ollero & Ramos, 1995.
Includes monographs and periodicals. All works are in Spanish.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: G465 .G37 1995]
The Power and Place of Black Diasporan Autobiography: An Annotated Bibliography of Autobiographies / Phyllis B. Bischof. New York: 2004.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: PN490.A37 2004]
Bibliographies of American and Canadian Travel Narratives 
Personal accounts of events, travels, and everyday life in America : an annotated bibliography / compiled by E. Richard McKinstry. Winterthur, Del. : Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, c1997
Bibliography of 500 manuscript and published items held by the Winterthur Library. Includes items relating to travel by Americans and non-Americans in America as well as items relating to American travel outside of America.
Location:[Van Pelt Library Stacks: E161 .M25 1997]
Travels in the Old South, a Bibliography/ Thomas Dionysius Clark. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1956
Accounts of northerners, foreigners and southerners traveling in states other than their own in the southern states of the United States. 3 vols. Covers books and pamphlets published from 1527-1860.
Location:[Van Pelt Library Reference Stacks: Z1251.S7 C4]
Travels in the Confederate States, a Bibliography/ Elllis Morton Coulter. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1948
Letters, travel narratives, reminiscences, diaries and other accounts of travel in the Confederate States, 1861-1865.
Location:[Van Pelt Library Reference Stacks: Z1251.S7 C68 ]
Travels in the New South, a Bibliography/ Thomas Dioysius Clark. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1962
Accounts in of northerners, foreigners and southerners traveling in states other than their own. Journals, diaries, letters, reminiscences, etc. Covers books and pamphlets published from 1865-1955. States that seceded to form the Confederacy and the Border states: Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri. 2 vols.
Location:[Van Pelt Library Reference Stacks: Z1251.S7 C38]
BorderLine : a bibliography of the United States-Mexico borderlands / Barbara G. Valk, with Ana Marma Cobos Los Angeles : UCLA Latin American Center Publications, 1988
A large multidisciplinary bibliography of primary and secondary resources related to California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Northern Mexico, with a chapter devoted to primary resources related to description and travel.
Location:[Van Pelt Library Reference Stacks: F786 .V225 1988]
Platte River road narratives : a descriptive bibliography of travel over the great central overland route to Oregon, California, Utah, Colorado, Montana, and other western states and territories, 1812-1866 / Merrill J. Mattes ; with a foreword by James A. Michener. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c1988
Over 2000 records of diaries, journals, recollections, letters, etc. published as books or articles.
Location:[Van Pelt Library Stacks: F591 .M37 1988]
The Plains & the Rockies : a critical bibliography of exploration, adventure, and travel in the American West, 1800-1865 / Henry R. Wagner & Charles L. Camp. Columbus, Ohio : Long's College Book Company, 1953.
Monographs, narratives, notes and other genres published as books, articles and government documents. Includes materials relating to the region between the Missouri River and the Sierra Nevada-Cascades, from Mexico to the Arctic excluding Texas and what is now western Louisiana, but excludes Eastern Canada and Spanish settlements.
Location:[Van Pelt Library Stacks: Z1251.W5 W2 1953]
Early Midwestern Travel Narratives: An Annotated Bibliography, 1634-1850 / Robert Huback. Detroit, Wayne State University Press, 1961.
Includes published and unpublished works relating to travel in the region West of Pennsylvania, East of the Pacific Ocean, North of the Ohio River, Arkansas or Oklahoma, and South of the Canadian border.
Location:[Van Pelt Library Stacks: Z1251.W5 H8]
The trail : A bibliography of the travelers on the overland trail to California, Oregon, Salt Lake City, and Montana during the years 1841-1864 / by Lannon W. Mintz. Alburquerque : University of New Mexico Press, 1987.
Includes first person accounts published as books or pamphlets
Location:[Van Pelt Reference Stacks: F592 .M56 1987]
The Santa Fe Trail: A Historical Bibliography/ Jack Rittenhouse. Albuquerque, University of New Mexico Press, [1971].
Includes published primary and secondary works related to the Santa Fe Trail, including many first hand traveling accounts in the narrative, diary, journal, letter or reminiscence genre.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: Z1251.S8 R58]
Overland on the California Trail, 1846-1859 : a bibliography of manuscript & printed travel narratives / by Marlin L. Heckman. Glendale, Calif. : A.H. Clark Co., 1984.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: F593 .H4 1984]
Travelers in Tidewater Virginia, 1700-1800, a bibliography / Jane Carson. Williamsburg, Va., Colonial Williamsburg; distributed by the University Press of Virginia, Charlottesville [c1965].
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: 917.55B C238]
Travels in America from the voyages of discovery to the present : an annotated bibliography of travel articles in periodicals, 1955-1980 / by Garold L. Cole ; foreword by Thomas D. Clark. Norman [Okla.] : University of Oklahoma Press, 1984.
Bibliography of travel narratives published as articles in magazines and journals between 1955 and 1980. The original documents date from 1540 to the 1960s, and the majority are from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Location:[Van Pelt Library Reference Stacks: E161.5 .C64 1984]
French travellers in the United States, 1765-1932 / a bibliography by Frank Monaghan, with supplement by Samuel J. Marino. New York : Antiquarian Press, 1961.
Mostly works in English and French.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: Z1236 .M64]
The French image of America : a chronological and subject bibliography of French books printed before 1816 relating to the British North American colonies and the United States / by Durand Echeverria and Everett C. Wilkie. Metuchen, N.J. : Scarecrow Press, 1994.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: E141 .E28 1994]
Voyageurs Frangais en Amirique: colonies espagnoles et portugaises / Jean-Paul Duviols. Paris : Bordas, c1978.
Includes primarily French works. Includes travel accounts along with other types of historical, geographical and official work relating to French travelers in the Americas.
Location:[Van Pelt Library Stacks: E131 .D88]
Californien : Henry Madden and the German travelers in America / edited by Michael Gorman. Fresno, [Calif.] : Friends of the Madden Library, California State University Fresno, 1991.
Bibliography of the Madden Library collection of 18th through 20th century mostly English- and German-language books. Includes travel narratives, letters, biographies, and other works that relate the experiences of German travelers in California.
Location:[Van Pelt Library Stacks: Z1361.G37 C35 1991]
The Travellers : Canada to 1900 : an annotated bibliography of works published in English from 1577. / [edited by] Elizabeth Waterston. Guelph, Ont.: University of Guelph, 1989.
Covers only works in English.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: F1013 .T73 1989]
BorderLine : a bibliography of the United States-Mexico borderlands / Barbara G. Valk, with Ana Marma Cobos Los Angeles : UCLA Latin American Center Publications, 1988
A large multidisciplinary bibliography of primary and secondary resources related to California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Northern Mexico, with a chapter devoted to primary resources related to description and travel.
Location:[Van Pelt Library Reference Stacks: F786 .V225 1988]
Bibliographies of Mexican, South American, Central American and Carribean Travel Narratives 
Mexico in American and British letters: a bibliography of fiction and travel books, citing original editions/Drewey Wayne Gunn. Metuchen, N.J., Scarecrow Press, 1974.
See especially the chapter titled "A Checklist of American and British Travel Books, Memoirs, and Other Personal Observations about Mexico (1569-1972)."
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: Z1225 .G85]
Latin America in the nineteenth century; a selected bibliography of books of travel and description published in English, by A. Curtis Wilgus. Metuchen, N.J., Scarecrow Press, 1973.
Includes all areas south of the United States plus Bermuda and the Bahamas. Includes Guidebooks, diaries, letters, memoirs, reminiscences, autobiographies, etc.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: Z1601 .W686]
Travel accounts and descriptions of Latin America and the Caribbean, 1800-1920 : a selected bibliography / compiled by Thomas L. Welch and Myriam Figueras. Washington, D.C. : 0rganization of American States, Columbus Memorial Library, 1982.
Bibliography of travel related items held by the library of the Organization of American States. Works in English and other languages. Covers travel accounts, letters, journals, and a wide variety of other genres. Bibliography is divided by country.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: Z1609.D4 W44]
Accounts of nineteenth-century South America, an annotated checklist of works / by British and United States observers. London, published for the Institute of Latin American Studies [by] the Athlone P., 1969.
Includes travel accounts based on first-hand experience, but limited to monographs of over 50 pages written in English.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: Z1601 .N36 ]
The exploration of South America : an annotated bibliography / Edward J. Goodman. New York : Garland Pub., 1983.
Mostly works in English and French. Covers 15th-20th centuries. Most chapters are divided into a section on primary resources and a section on secondary resources; travel accounts are included in the sections on primary resources.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: E101 .G66 1983]
English interpreters of the Iberian new world from Purchas to Stevens; a bibliographical study, 1603-1726/ Steele, Colin. [Oxford] Dolphin Book co., 1975.
A series of bibliographic essays covering English translations of Spanish works about the Iberian New World.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: E141 .S82]
Bibliographies of European Travel Narratives 
Grand tour diaries and other travel manuscripts in the James Marshall and Marie-Louise Osborn collection / John Marciari. New Haven, Conn. : Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, 1999.
16th-19th century works. Includes diaries, letters and travel descriptions that give specific details about places, people and events in (primarily) continental Europe.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: DG423 .M37 1999]
Bibliography of British and American travel in Italy to 1860 / R. S. Pine-Coffin. Firenze : L. S. Olschki, 1974.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: Z2356 .P55]
To Russia and Return, an annotated bibliography of travelers' English-language accounts of Russia from the ninth century to the present. / Compiled by Harry W. Nerhood. [Columbus], Ohio State University Press, [1968].
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: Z2491 .N435]
Foreign descriptions of Muscovy : an analytic bibliography of primary and secondary sources / by Marshall Poe. Columbus, Ohio : Slavica Publishers, c1995.
Includes travel literature, diplomatic reports, newspapers and state descriptive monographs. Primary Sources mainly from 1450-1700.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: DK21 .P64 1995 ]
Bibliograhies Travel Narratives of the Middle East and Asia 
Bibliotheca cisorientalia; an annotated checklist of early English travel books on the Near and Middle East. Edited by Richard Bevis. Boston, G. K. Hall, 1973.
Covers books published in English before 1915 and after the Midle East became Islamicized (the mid-seventh century A.D.)
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: Z3013 .B47]
Geographical sources of Ming-Qing history / by Timothy Brook. Ann Arbor : Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan, 1988.
Bibliography of Chinese Language Route Books (traveler's handbooks to land and water routes that provide practical information for traveling those routes) and gazetteers (chronicles of the history, present conditions, and noted people of local areas, arranged by topic) published between 1300 and the 20th century.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: DS705 .B76 1988]
Bibliograhies of Travel Narratives of Africa, Antarctica and Shipwrecks 
Nile Notes of a Howadji: A Bibliography of travelers' tales from Egypt, from the earliest time to 1918./ Martin R. Kalfatovic. Metuchen, N.J. : Scarecrow Press, 1992.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: DT49.98 .K34 1992 ]
South African history : a bibliographical guide with special reference to territorial expansion and colonization / Naomi Musiker. New York : Garland Pub., 1984.
Includes chapters with bibliographies of primary resources relating to Travel and Exploration (-1652) and Travellers (-1900). Covers books and articles. Related material is scattered throughout.
Location:[Van Pelt Reference Stacks: DT766 .M92 1984 ]
A bibliography of personal accounts of the Cape of Good Hope in printed books, 1715-1850 / compiled by K. L. M. Schmidt. [Cape Town] : Univesity of Cape Town, School of Librarianship, 1955.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: 968.7B Sch53 ]
A guide to original sources for precolonial western Africa published in European languages : for the most part in book form / by J.D. Fage. [Madison] : African Studies Program, University of Wisconsin--Madison, 1994.
800-1872. Includes travel narratives as well as other types of primary sources.
Location:[Van Pelt Reference Stacks: DT476 .F34 1994 ]
Beyond the Arctic Circle : materials on Arctic explorations and travels since 1750 in the Special Collections and University Archives Division of the University of British Columbia Library / Norman Amor. [Vancouver] : University of British Columbia Library, 1992.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: G620 .A46 1992 ]
A checklist of narratives of shipwrecks and disasters at sea to 1860 : with summaries, notes, and comments / [compiled] by Keith Huntress. Ames : Iowa State University Press, 1979.
Includes first hand accounts, secondary accounts, and fictional narratives. Primarily works in English, but covers other languages as well.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: G525 .H897]
Captivity Narratives 
Indian Slavery, Labor, Evangelization, and Captivity in the Americas: An Annotated Bibliography / Russell Magnaghi. Lanham, MD : Scarecrow, 1998.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: E59 .S56 M34 1998]
Narratives of Captivity Among the Indians of North America: A List of Books and Manuscripts on this Subject in the Edward E. Ayer Collection of the Newberry Library. Chicago : The Newberry Library, 1912.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: G620 .A46 1992 ]

Selected Collections 
Provides full-text online access to 253 published narratives by Americans and foreign visitors recounting their travels in the colonies and the United States and their observations and opinions about American peoples, places, and society from about 1750 to 1920. Also included is the thirty-two-volume set of manuscript sources entitled Early Western Travels, 1748-1846. Hosted by the American Memory Project of the Library of Congress.
Link:http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/lhtnhtml/lhtnhome.html
American Journeys contains more than 18,000 pages of eyewitness accounts of North American exploration, from the sagas of Vikings in Canada in AD1000 to the diaries of mountain men in the Rockies 800 years later.
Link:http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/25391
Covered wagon women : diaries & letters from the Western trails, 1840-1890 / edited & compiled by Kenneth L. Holmes. Glendale, California : Arthur H. Clark, 1983-1993.
Contains hundreds of accounts--diaries and letters--written by women of their during travel West. Also available online as part of "North American Women's Letters and Diaries, Colonial to 1950" (http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/6992)
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: F591 .C68 1983, 11 vols.]
Hakluyt Society Publications/ various editors. Detroit : Gale Research, c1996.
This society publishes"scholarly editions of primary sources on the 'Voyages and Travels' undertaken by individuals from many parts of the globe. These include early accounts dealing with the geography, ethnology and natural history of the regions visited." From 1840 to the present over 300 volumes containing journals, log books, narratives, letters, etc. of voyagers and travelers. To see our holdings of Hakluyt Society publications do a keyword search in Franklin for "hakluyt."
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: G161.H2]
Dechert Collection. University of Pennsylvania Rare Books and Manuscripts Library
The Robert Dechert Collection contains printed materials relating to the American West published from the 16th to the early 20th centuries. The collection contains a large number of works of travel and description pertaining to the American West. To see our holdings do a keyword search in Franklin for "dechert collection" and travel.
Location:[Rare Books and Manuscripts Library]

Encyclopedias, Biographies and Quotations
The American National Biography (ANB) is the successor to The Dictionary of American Biography (DAB)(1926-1937). As such, it is a source of biographical information on Americans of significance, both American and significance broadly defined.

Use ANB's 'Realms of Renown' search feature to search for all travel writers in the database. Name and subject searches can be used for general searches.
Link:http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/6821
British travel writers, 1837-1875 / edited by Barbara Brothers and Julia Gergits. Detroit : Gale Research, c1996.
Biographical essays followed by extensive bibliographies for each writer covered.
Location:[Van Pelt Reference Stacks: PR788.T72 B74 1996]
British travel writers, 1876-1909 / edited by Barbara Brothers and Julia Gergits. Detroit : Gale Research, c1997.
Biographical essays followed by extensive bibliographies for each writer covered.
Location:[Van Pelt Reference Stacks: PR788.T72 B743 1997]
British travel writers, 1910-1939 / edited by Barbara Brothers and Julia Gergits. Detroit: Gale Research, c1998.
Biographical essays followed by extensive bibliographies for each writer covered.
Location:[Van Pelt Reference Stacks: PR788.T72 B743 1998]
British travel writers, 1940-1997 / edited by Barbara Brothers and Julia Gergits. Detroit: Gale Research, c1999.
Biographical essays followed by extensive bibliographies for each writer covered.
Location:[Van Pelt Reference Stacks: PR788.T72 B745 1999]
American travel writers, 1776-1864 / edited by James Schramer and Donald Ross. Detroit : Gale Research, c1997.
Biographical essays followed by extensive bibliographies for each writer covered.
Location:[Van Pelt Reference Stacks: PS366.T73 A44 1997]
American travel writers, 1850-1915/ edited by James Schramer and Donald Ross. Detroit : Gale Research, c1998.
Biographical essays followed by extensive bibliographies for each writer covered.
Location:[Van Pelt Reference Stacks: PS366.T73 A45 1998]
Explorers and discoverers of the world / edited by Daniel B. Baker. Detroit : Gale Research, c1993.
Encyclopedia of biographical information on more than 320 world explorers, from classical times to the present. Includes bibliographies of important works involving the voyages, including whatever first person accounts have been published.
Location:[Van Pelt Reference Stacks: G200 .E88 1993]
Literature of travel and exploration : an encyclopedia / Jennifer Speake, editor. New York : Fitzroy Dearborn, 2003.
Biographical information and bibliographies relating to travelers from classical times to the present. Also includes entries on events and objects related to travel and exploration. For example, there are entries on "Big Game Hunting," "The Bicycle," and "Camels."
Location:[Van Pelt Reference Stacks: G465 .L565 2003]
The Travellers' dictionary of quotations : who said what, about where? / edited by Peter Yapp. New York : London ; Boston : Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983.
Location:[Van Pelt Reference Stacks: PN6084.P55 T72 1983]

Guidebooks, Travel Handbooks and Views 
Bibliographies
The English guide book, c.1780-1870; an illustrated history [by] John Vaughan. Newton Abbot [Eng.], North Pomfret, Vt., David & Charles [1974].
Description, history and bibliography of guidebooks to England and guidebooks for English people traveling abroad.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: Z2018 .V38 ]
Baedeker's handbook(s) for travellers : a bibliography of English editions published prior to World War II. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1975.
Along with the John Murray travel guides, those published by Baedeker are perhaps the best known of the early, popular English language travel Handbooks. Baedeker handbooks were so popular that followers of them were parodied in works of popular literature. Baedeker published many series of guides to travel in Europe, North America and Egypt, some of which start as early as the 1860s.
Location:[Van Pelt Stacks: G150 .B34 1975]
Mirabilia urbis Romae : five centuries of guidebooks and views / Amy Marshall. Toronto : University of Toronto Library, 2002.
Bibliography of Guidebooks to Rome published from 1500 to the 20th century owned by the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library of the University of Toronto and by other collections in Ontario.
Location:[DG804 .M337 2002]

Resources for Researching Travel Narratives 
Indexes scholarly articles on literature, languages, folklore, and linguistics. Includes English and foreign languages.
Link:http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/6982
Indexes scholarly articles on the history of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present.
Link:http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/6812
Indexes scholarly articles on the history of the world from 1450 to the present (excluding the United States and Canada).
Link:http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/6930
Bibliographic citations to the literature of geography, including travel and exploration.
Link:http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/11483
The world's leading bibliography of Medieval Studies and an essential tool for research and teaching on the Middle Ages, covers Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.
Link:http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/6950
All areas of anthropology and archaeology are represented with particular strength in sociocultural anthropology, ethnology, and material culture.
Link:http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/6824
*