Beinecke Top Tens: Travel Journals

November 7, 2013

The Beinecke is home to extensive holdings concerning travel – travel logs, journals, and narratives; maps; novels; and more. Here are approximately ten of the many fascinating documents in the Beinecke’s collection related to travel.

Journal of Ferdinand Magellan’s Voyage around the World in 1522 by Antonio Pigafetta

Pigafetta (ca. 1480/91 - ca. 1534) was an Italian gentlemen from Vincenza who accompanied Magellan on his circumnavigation voyage and survived to write this account. The text, which is divided into fifty-seven chapters, is the most complete and handsomely produced manuscript of the four surviving witnesses to the text. While the original was probably written in Italian, this text is in French. Call number: Beinecke MS 351

A Description of New England: The observations and discoveries of Captain John Smith

Printed in 1616, this book by John Smith (1580-1631) contains the English explorer’s observations and discoveries in “the north of America in the year of our Lord 1614.” The account also refers to “the accidents” that befell Smith “among the French men of warre.” Call number: Taylor 269

Journal of the Description of the Wonderful Journey of Willem Schouten or Journal ou Description du Merveilleux Voyage de Guillaume Schouten

Schouten was a Dutch navigator for the Dutch East India Company and the first to travel around Cape Horn to reach the Pacific Ocean. He narrated his travels in a journal, first published in Dutch in 1618 as Journal Ofte Beschryvinghe van de wonderlicke reyse, ghaedaen door Willem Cornelisz Schouten van Hoorn, inde Jaren 1615, 1616, en 1617 and later translated into French. This version is the French translation. Call number: Taylor 278

Thomas Bowrey logbook and journal

Thomas Bowrey (ca. 1650-1713) was a British ship captain and merchant for the East India Company who sailed and traded extensively in the East Indies. He published the first English-Malay dictionary in 1701. His logbook and journal presents “An Account of the Journall of a Voyage from England to Bengall…in the Worcester East Indiaman commanded by Captn. Thomas Bowrey from the 11th of December 1689 to the 14th of December 1691.” The journal includes descriptions of  the islands, bays, and native inhabitnats of the East Indies, as well as three maps, a sketch of a burial monument, leasehold accounts, and extracts from Shakespeare. Call number: Osborn fc177

Charles Darwin’s account of his South American travels on the HMS Beagle

Darwin’s account of his journey on the HMS Beagle was published in 1839 as The Voyage of the Beagle. This travel account by Darwin, published seven years later by the London publisher Smith, Elder & Co., records the naturalist’s geological observations of South America as part of the “third part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. Fitzroy, R.N. during the years 1832 to 1836.” Call number: S22 846DImage courtsey of Darwin Online, sponsored by the U.K. Arts & Humanities Research Council.

Diary of a voyage from New York to California, and return trip by train (1874-1875)

Written by an unidenitified author, this 19th century travel log recounts the author’s travels from New York to California by way of Panama. The account describes life on a ship and the train voyage across the isthmus; it includes anecdotes about Aspinwall (Colón), Panama; Acapulco; San Francisco; and other California towns. The author then traveled overland back to New York. The journal features illustrations of Niagara Falls, California, and Nevada, as well as maps of railroad routes. Call number: WA MSS S-1415

Diaries of J.G. Bruff (1849-1850)

These diaries (of which there are sixteen volumes) describe the journey of Joseph Goldsborough Bruff, a draftsman for the Bureau of Topographical Engineers, to California by way of St. Joseph, Fort Kearney, Fort Laramie, South Pass, Sublette’s Cut-off, Bear River, Cantonment Loring, Raft River, the Humboldt, and Lassen’s Route. The diaries include maps and sketches of California, as well as descriptions of life in the American west and of the California Gold Rush. Call number: WA MSS 50

Robert Louis Stevenson’s drafts of the South Seas

In 1888, Stevenson set sail on a yacht in the Pacific. He journeyed to the Hawaiian Islands, the Gilbert Islands, the Samoan Islands, Tahiti, and New Zealand and recorded his travels in letters and in his book, In the South Seas. The book recounts his cruise from the Hawaiian to the Marquesas and Tuamoto islands on the Casco with his wife, Fanny. These partial drafts from 1889-1891 include corrections and annotations. Call number: GEN MSS 808

Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness was first published in three parts in Britain’s Blackwood’s Magazine in 1899. The Beinecke owns a copy of Conrad’s short novel as published in the magazine in the late 19th century. The novel recounts the fictional travels of Charles Marlow in Central Africa. Call number: Conrad 899hImage courtsey of Wikipedia

First edition of Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises

This first edition copy of Hemingway’s work was published in 1926. The novel, regarded by some as Hemingway’s greatest work, is not necessarily a travel account or travel narrative, although it does take place in several locations, including Paris and Spain. Call number: Za H373 926s Image courtsey of University of South Carolina library

Artist’s book of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road

The Beinecke owns an artist’s book version of Kerouac’s 1957 novel On the Road, published in 2009 and designed by Ed Ruscha. It is one of 350 limited edition copies, signed and numbered by Ruscha. Kerouac’s novel recounts the travels of Salvatore “Sal” Paradise and Dean Moriarty in America in the late 1940s and 1950. The novel reflects on the postwar Beat Generation and is based on Kerouac’s own experiences. Call number: 2010 Folio 81. The Beneicke also owns a copy of the original 1957 edition of On The Road. Call number: Zab K459 957P. Image courtsey of Wikipedia.

Complied by Olivia Pollak Y’16

Beinecke Top Tens gather (approximately) ten related items to give an at-a-glance look at some of the Library’s interesting, important, strange, compelling, beautiful holdings. To see more lists, click here: Beinecke Top Tens. To suggest a list subject, contact us: Top Ten Ideas.