Collecting and Memory

A Study of Travel Archives

in Journeys
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  • 1 Historical Society of Pennsylvania larnold@hsp.org
  • 2 University of South Africa vdwaltb@unisa.ac.za
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Abstract

People’s travel collections serve as a memory aid to help them write travelogues, novels, or scientific reports when they return home. They may also have merely been a way to document a voyage or journey for future generations. Under the surface of any of these end uses is simply the need to collect, the need to hold on to memory—in the form of material culture, ephemera, photographic documentation or assiduous note taking. Travel archives are the materials (either in manuscript form or printed ephemera) that document the purposeful travel of an individual or group. Like family papers, they may be perceived as having limited value beyond their fellow travelers or family members. Irrespective of the motivation of the traveler, these collections often end up in repositories. How an archivist deals with this material is crucial to its future use.

Contributor Notes

Lee Arnold has been the library director of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania since 1992. He received a doctorate in archival science from the University of South Africa in 2016, an MLA (concentration in Archives Management) from Temple University in 2000 and an MLIS from the University of Wisconsin in 1988. He is a member of the Academy of Certified Archivists and the Association of Professional Genealogists. Lee is a travel writer and a regular reviewer of travel literature for Library Journal. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and a member of the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides. E-mail: larnold@hsp.org

Thomas van der Walt, holds bachelor degrees from Patchefstroom University, the University of Pretoria, and Unisa (University of South Africa). His master’s degree and doctorate are from Rand Afrikaans University (Johannesburg). He holds a Diploma in Modern Archival Science from the Royal Archival School (The Hague, Netherlands). At Unisa he teaches archival science and supervises masters and doctoral candidates. His academic interests include user studies, archival science, records management and special collections, children’s literature and reading, and heritage. His fields of specialization are children’s literature and children’s reading, reading in indigenous languages, storytelling, and tangible and intangible heritage. E-mail: vdwaltb@unisa.ac.za

Journeys

The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing

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