All entries for August 2008

August 28, 2008

Thomas Cook Archives

Writing about web page

Perhaps it's the dismal British weather making everyone long for far-off places, but there seems to have been a lot of travel news and events this last week or so! (I have yet to write about the exhibition I went to at the weekend too). I read this story a couple of weeks ago in the Times but have just been reminded of it online: in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of its founder, Thomas Cook are opening up the company archives, offering free appointment-only tours of the collections to researchers. Thomas Cook's organised tours began in 1841, with an excursion on the railway from Leicester to Loughborough for around 500 people; the first continental tour took place in 1855. Cook played a significant part in effecting the nineteenth century shift from a notion of "travel" as an exclusive, independent pursuit to "tourism" as a mass enterprise that made travel available to many more people. Cook not only recognised the possibilities offered by transport developments like the railways, but was also instrumental in facilitating the evolution and integration of the various institutions involved in travel, establishing a network of systems to become the "leisure industry" that made tourism possible on increasingly greater scales. The archives look fascinating- guidebooks and brochures, diaries of travellers, railway timetables, films and photographs, and copies of the company's newspaper that began in 1851.

Now to find a piece of research that will take me there...

August 21, 2008

Event at the Women's Library

Writing about web page

Another travel-related find, this time at the Women's Library: Women Transport Pioneers in the Gaumont Graphic Newsreels (1910-1932) taking place on Thursday 11th September at 7pm. As the website says:

The Gaumont Graphic, held by ITN Source on behalf of Reuters, is a silent newsreel that played at British cinemas from 1910 to 1932. Using excerpts of footage this talk looks at some of the pioneers who changed the face of travel and transport. Women featured include actor Dorothy Jordan, aviators Amy Johnson, Mary du Caurroy and Amelia Earhart, and speed boat racers Marin Barbara ‘Betty’ Carstairs and Mrs Victor Bruce.

I might try and get to this as I've been wanting to visit The Women's Library for some time now and am attending an event in London the next day anyway. If I can take the time out from writing, I'll make a day of it with this exhibition too:

August 20, 2008

Women's Travel Writing Resources

Just come across this useful resource via the Intute blog, the University of Minnesota's digitization project Women's Travel Writing 1830-1930. The site provides access to many texts that are difficult to get hold of, and as the focus is more towards American writers* there are lots I haven't come across before so I'm looking forward to new discoveries! Particularly useful is the grouping of writers by geographic area and theme, so someone working on Mary Kinglsley, for example, can easily find other writing on West Africa. The bibliographic resources are also really useful.

*British travel writers of the period can also be found at the Victorian Women Writers Projectalthough as this is a general collection it's necessary to know specifically what travel writing you're looking for.

August 2008

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