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History of Travel

Encyclopedias & Companions

tourism.jpgThe Library has a wide variety of encyclopedias and companions, both online and in print, with informative and helpful articles on travel and travel writing throughout history. Here is a list of selected titles to get you started.  Feel free to ask for further suggestions.

Gale Virtual Reference Library
Provides cross reference searching in encyclopedias, almanacs, and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research including arts, business, social sciences and sciences.

Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing
Coverage of a wide range of travel-related subjects from literature surveys to travel destinations and topical treatments. Includes an essay on "Travel Writing and its Theory" by Mary B. Campbell and an exhaustive Further Reading list. A detailed chronology lists important events and travel writers.

Literature of Travel & Exploration
Travel writing from classical antiquity to the present. Articles explore individual writers, countries and regions, methods of transportation, types of journey, and genres and themes.

New Dictionary of the History of Ideas
See the essay on "Travel from Europe and the Middle East" by James Helfers. His bibliography lists primary as well as secondary sources.

Encyclopedia of Greece and the Hellenic Tradition
See essay on Travel in volume two.

Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage
Introductory essays about the role of travel in medieval religious life from 300-1500 A.D.

Encyclopedia of the Renaissance
See the essay on "Travel and Travel Literature" in volume 6. The bibliography lists primary and secondary sources.

Encyclopedia of European Social History
See the essay on "Travel and Tourism" by Stephen Harp in volume 5. Great bibliography.

Encyclopedia of American Social History
See the entry on "Travel and Vacations" in volume 3.

Encyclopedia of the Victorian Era
See the essays on "Travel and Tourism" and "The Grand Tour."

Encyclopedia of Africa South of the Sahara
See entry on "Travel and Exploration" in volume 4, which covers early Arab travelers, medieval Chinese travelers, and European travelers. Each section has a bibliography and cross references to related entries.

Encyclopedia of Women's Travel & Exploration

Cambridge Companion to American Travel Writing
American identity through the lens of travel writing from the pre-revolutionary period to the present.

Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History
Includes short entries on individual ocean liners, such as the Olympic, and helpful bibliographies.


Falvey Library Catalog
There are many ways to find travel-related literature in the library. Browsing the travel literature collection on the third floor: G149-G550 is one way. Subject and keyword searches in the online catalog are another good approach. The list of subjects below is a good starting point to explore the Library's print an online collections. Author searches for individual travelers, such as John Mandeville, are yet another approach.
For books not available at the Library, please consult WorldCat.
Travel-related subjects:
"Voyages and travels"
"Description and travel"
"Guide books"
"Railroad travel"
"Summer resorts"
"Travel history"

WorldCat (OCLC)
WorldCat is a catalog of library collections worldwide. WorldCat highlights publications available at Villanova University. Other items can be requested via an inter-library loan request form.
WorldCat Step-by-Step is a self-paced interactive tutorial for students new to this resource.

E-ZBorrow and Interlibrary Loan
Interlibrary loans are only available for books and journals which are not owned by Falvey. The E-ZBorrow service can be used for books which the library owns, but which are currently checked out. E-ZBorrow books are provided by a local library network and tend to arrive faster than interlibrary loans.

Journal Articles

The Library subscribes to a variety of online databases, which index scholarly, peer-reviewed journals. Most of the Library's online indexes cover specific geographic areas, time periods, or academic disciplines. Carefully read the database description in order to select the best resource for your project. Good starting points are the following indexes:

Historical Abstracts (EBSCO)
An annotated reference guide to the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present, including world history, military history, women's history, history of education, and more. Provides indexing of more than 2,300 academic historical journals in over 40 languages back to 1955 as well as book reviews and dissertations.

America: History and Life (EBSCO)
A complete bibliographic reference to the history of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present. The database also includes citations and links to book and media reviews.

International Medieval Bibliography (Brepols)
The International Medieval Bibliography (IMB) is a current, comprehensive bibliography of articles in journals and miscellany volumes (conference proceedings, essay collections or Festschriften) worldwide.

A searchable and browsable archive of full-text core journals in the humanities, social sciences and sciences. Limit journals by discipline with the help of the Advanced Search feature. Disciplines include history, classical studies, literature and more.

Primary Sources

Primary sources can be found in a wide variety of formats and resources. The Library's catalog is a good starting point. Use keywords that describe primary sources such as correspondence, diaries or sources in conjunction with other keywords. You may also use WorldCat to identify primary sources which are not available locally and request these titles through interlibrary loan. The Library's catalog includes records for and links to many digital primary sources.

Keyword and subject searches in the Library's catalog are good starting points when first exploring a topic. Search results can be narrowed with facets such as topic, era, language or region. Facets are located on the right hand side of the results screen.

WorldCat (OCLC)
WorldCat is a catalog of library collections worldwide. WorldCat highlights publications available at Villanova University. Other items can be requested via an inter-library loan request form.
WorldCat Step-by-Step is a self-paced interactive tutorial for students new to this resource.

British Periodicals Collection I (ProQuest)
More than 160 journals spanning the late 17th through early 20th centuries, and covering a range of topics such as literature, philosophy, history, science, the fine arts and the social sciences.

Historical New York Times: 1851-2009 (ProQuest)
Complete coverage from 1851 to the present with the exception of the most current two years. Includes classified ads, comics and cartoons, photos, maps, graphics, etc., editorials and commentary.

The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985 (Gale)
Complete archive up to 1985.

Readers' Guide Retrospective: 1890-1982 (EBSCO)
Provides indexing of over three million articles from more than 550 leading magazines, including full coverage of the original print volumes of Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature™. Subject coverage includes arts, business, computers, crafts, dance, drama, education, entertainment, fashion, film & television, food, gardening, health and medicine, home improvement, literature, news and current events, photography, popular and classical music, politics, popular culture, religion, sports and fitness, technology, transportation, travel and more.

American Periodicals Series (ProQuest)
Digital archive of American periodicals published between 1740 and 1900, including special interest and general magazines, literary and professional journals, children's and women's magazines, and many other historically-significant periodicals.

America’s Historical Newspapers: 1690-1922 (Readex)
A digital collection of early American newspapers from 1690 to 1922, that includes the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1860-1920.

Nineteenth Century UK Periodicals (Gale)
Part of the collection focuses on travel and anthropology, economics, overseas missionary work and colonies. Complete runs of 91 magazines with topics ranging from the abolition of the slave trade within the British Empire in 1807 to the first Opium Wars (1839-42) and the “scramble for Africa” in the 1880s and 1890s.

Citing Your Sources

Never type a bibliography again! RefWorks will help you easily gather, manage, and store bibliographic citations for all types of information, as well as generate footnotes and bibliographies.

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jseibert Jutta Seibert
Team Leader - Academic Integration
Falvey Library, Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova , PA , 19085
Room 228

Jutta Seibert is the subject librarian for History and is available for research consultations, instruction, curricular support & purchase requests.


Last Modified: Tuesday, January 6th, 2015