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Travel Literature in the Special Collections Research Center: Home

This is a guide to the extensive collection of travel diaries, letters describing travel, travel scrapbooks, and other original travel materials in Swem's Special Collections Research Center.

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SCRC Collections Database

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What We Have

Our collections related to travel include:

  • Numerous manuscript travel diaries from the 18th century to the 20th century
  • Scrapbooks with notes, photographs, or other memorabilia of travel, primarily from the 20th century
  • Published travel narratives from the 1500s to the 1900s
  • Published guides for travelers, primarily from the 19th century

Manuscripts and scrapbooks are described in the SCRC database.  You can search that using the box to the left.  Published travel narratives and guides for travelers are catalogedi n Swem Library's catalog, searchable in the box below. 

Swem Catalog Search

Use the library catalog to search for books.

You can also do a quick search here:

Search for: in

Sample Basic Searches:

Title Enter title without beginning "A", "An", "The"
Enter last name, then first (e.g. Einstein, Albert)

Good for starting a search for books on a topic; then use
subject headings on relevant records to find more.

Subject Tricky! Need to know Library of Congress subject headings.


To find books in the SCRC, click on "advanced search" from the library catalog page and select "Swem Library" in the library menu and "Rare books" in the item type menu  Travel books typically are found under the subject "[Geographical location]--Description and travel." You also could use travel as a keyword. 

Not finding what you need in Swem? Please look at WorldCat which contains books from libraries all over the world.

Subject Guide