Curator: Amy Putnam
Location: Ground floor and UASC Reading Room, Murray Library
This exhibit showcased a variety of documents and ephemera from the University Archives and Special Collections that are related to travel. It pulled items from the Sylvia Fedoruk fonds, Beach Family fonds, Marketa Newman fonds, Hans Gruen fonds and L.G. Saunders fonds.
R.O.N Airline Kit
A kit supplied by Conair airline filled with all the necessities a woman might need while traveling – tooth brush, deodorant, tissues, and of course some blush!
Beach Family, MG 386
Sylvia Fedoruk, MG 435 - For work and for fun Sylvia Fedoruk travelled to many different places, and collected many postcards, as well as other brochures and pamphlets.
Hans Gruen, MG 116 - While on sabbatical Hans Gruen travelled extensively and created (and donated) a large collection of Japanese postcards, a small sample of which is displayed here.
Early Travel Writing
In the early history of book publishing, travel books or travelogues were a popular genre. Until quite recently travel was very expensive (and dangerous) and was reserved for the very welathy, or for those who made it their life's work. The average family did not just pack their bags and head off for a week or two to see another part of the world. So they lived vicariously through travel literature. It was such a popular genre that Jonathon Swift wrote a satire about it - Gulliver's Travels. Since it was extremly difficult to fact check and verify whatever a travel writer might say about a foreign place they could get away with stretching the truth to sell more books. Swift played with this concept by creating lands inhabited by tiny people, giants, talking horses, along with other magnificent sights.
As travel became safer and more affordable, travel books vecame geared to helping new travellers discover new places to go, and what to do when you got there. Travelling is now a very popular hobby and an integral a part of many peoples lives. Travel books are now written for people who want to traval with a particular goal in mind - like trying regional cocktails.