Monday, June 27, 2011

Open Access Travel Literature

The history of travel, travelers, and travel writing is an academic discipline in it's own right. Travelers accounts of journeys from before Pausanius to the present form an important corpus of descriptive documentation of ancient monuments and sites, many of them no longer visible. ASTENE: The Association for the Study of Travel in Egypt and the Near East organizes conferences and publishes a Bulletin devoted to the topic.  The venerable Hakluyt Society has been the focus of publication of scholarly editions of primary records of voyages, travels and other geographical material since 1846. Shirley Weber's compendious bibliography Voyages and travels in Greece, the Near East, and adjacent regions, made previous to the year 1801; being a part of a larger catalogue of works on geography, cartography, voyages and travels, in the Gennadius Library in Athens has been available online for some time.

The discipline seems to be an attractive one for the development of open access digital libraries. For the region around the Mediterranean there are four such collections worthy of note here.
A search for the word "travel" in Abzu will today yield 237 items, many of them included in the collections described above, but also many others found elsewhere on the Internets.

I encourage readers here to let me know by means of the comments or otherwise, of other useful open access collections.

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