Searching for Travelogues

2 minute read

For the Travelogues project we have gathered more than 3,500 volumes of travelogues (including volumes containing travelogues among other texts), printed between 1501 and 1876, from the collections of the Austrian National Library.

We have defined a travelogue as

“a specific type of media that reports on a journey, which, if traceable, actually took place”, including different forms of accounts and text genres (see the upcoming publication of Doris Gruber et al. “Searching for Travelogues” and publications in Results).

Our dataset comprises accounts of travels, which are proven to have actually taken place by auto-, bio- and bibliographical resources. We thus exclude fictional travel accounts, though the distinction between factuality and fictionality might not always be clear, due to the lack of biographical information or the fact that every travel account encompasses, to a certain degree, fictional elements. In case of doubt we decided to include the resource. Our dataset comprises all sorts of travel accounts, such as reports of scientific travels, ambassadorial or religious missions, pilgrimages, mountain expeditions as well as scientific reports on travel activities. Regarding the spatial extensions, the decisive attribute for our categorization as travelogue is a movement in time and space that has a starting point and leads the traveler outside of his or her familiar environment. Therefore, we include reports on all sorts of journeys, ranging from minor ephemeral excursions through adjacent regions to voyages around the world.

You may easily access our dataset via the Austrian National Library’s open public catalog Quicksearch. For all volumes of our dataset, run a search query with “TravelogueD*”. You may then filter publication dates by faceting. For individual centuries you may also search for: “TravelogueD16” ; “TravelogueD17” ; “TravelogueD18” or “TravelogueD19”.

Search for 17th century travelogues in *Quicksearch*

Quicksearch offers different facets for persons, time frames or publication types.

Each travelogue has at least one geographical marker for continental regions visited along the voyage:

  • Europa (Europe),
  • Asien (Asia),
  • Afrika (Africa),
  • Nordamerika (North America),
  • Südamerika (South America),
  • Ozeanien (Oceania including Australia),
  • Antarktis (Antarctic Regions),
  • Arktis (Arctic Regions including Greenland).

In our project we focus on travel accounts to the Orient (i.e. Ottoman & Safavid Empires), which can be retrieved or filtered by adding the marker “Orient” to the search query.

The language of bibliographical descriptions is German, keywords for persons, places or regions are only available in German. Persons and places of publications are linked to the GND (Gemeinsame Normdatei). All resources of our dataset have been described applying RDA (Resource and Description Access) in the dataformat MARC21.

Quicksearch also offers facets for monographs in multiple parts (multipart item / mehrteilige Ressourcen) or series.

Search for 19th century travelogues related to Orient

Especially in the 18th and 19th centuries collective volumes were very common. We offer compound descriptions for all travelogues (works) contained in collective volumes, which can be searched for by using the term “Zusammenstellung”. Different editions or adaptations of works refer to each other by the same work title (Werktitel), which according to RDA usually is the title of the first publication or the title under which the work is most commonly known.

By clicking on “Online access” (Online-Zugriff) you may view digitized items in a separate browser window, search via OCR (Optical Character Recognition) generated fulltexts and download the digitized images as PDF.

Online access to digitized item

Digitized Item in ABO-Viewer

By selecting records and clicking on the red cycle with the three dots right next to the pin you may also download bibliographical metadata in csv or xlsx.

Export of metadata from Quicksearch

For more detailed metadata sheets please visit our Github Repository or contact our librarian martin.krickl@onb.ac.at.

Updated: