Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Poster: Vichy, France. Mai-Octubre. Click to enlarge.

French travel poster. Texas War Records Travel Posters, Art Collection. 1950s.


The book collections contain a number of accounts of travel and exploration, dating from the sixteenth century on. These are most easily located using the online catalog subject headings search: [name of place]--Description and Travel.

The European travels of Thomas Hammond (fl. late 1700s), an eighteenth-century jockey and equestrian performer who rose from the “lower classes,” are documented in his illustrated journal (part of the Messmore Kendall collection), which provides a unique perspective on the era's social history and popular entertainments.

The C. Hartley Grattan (1902–1980) collection of Australiana and Pacificana contains a large number of books relating to travels and exploration of this region. These works are supplemented by first editions in the general collections of Captain Cook's voyages and the magnificent colored botanical engravings in Sir Joseph Banks's Florilegium (Alecto Press edition).

The large archive of the prolific travel writer H. M. Tomlinson (1873–1958) includes manuscripts of Malay Waters, Gifts of Fortune, South to Cadiz, and other works. The socialist member of Parliment R."B. Cunninghame Graham (1852–1936) traveled relentlessly and wrote extensively about life in the Pampas, Texas and the Wild West, and the Middle East.

In addition to novels, D. H. Lawrence (1885–1930) wrote several travel narratives based on his excursions, occasioned by his poor health, to warm climates such as Australia, Mexico, and New Mexico. Included in his archive are manuscripts for Kangaroo, The Plumed Serpent, Sea and Sardinia, and Twilight in Italy.

The correspondence of Freya Stark (1883–1983), an intrepid traveler whose books were based on her personal experiences among the peoples of the Middle East, contains many accounts of her experiences in exotic lands.

The extensive archives of the peripatetic novelists Graham Greene (1904–1991) and Evelyn Waugh (1903–1966) contain materials related to their expeditions abroad and the books (both fictional and nonfictional) based on these journeys: for example, the journal of Greene's 1934 African trip that resulted in Journey Without Maps and memorabilia relating to Waugh in Abyssinia.

The journal of Jack Kerouac's (1922–1969) 1947 cross-country trip with Neal Cassady is one of the Center's most frequently requested manuscripts (it may be viewed on-site in a digital facsimile). The trip was later fictionalized in Kerouac's On the Road.

The naturalist and novelist Peter Matthiessen (1927– ) has traveled widely in the Amazon and African forests. Among the manuscripts in his archive are his travel diaries and the manuscripts of African Silences, Cloud Forest, and On the River Styx.

Iain Sinclair (1943– ) is well known for his detailed accounts of walking trips around England and “the Home Counties” (the London metropolitan area), which are interspersed with trenchant cultural and social commentary. His archive includes manuscripts of London Orbital, about his hike around the M25 highway.