Road Show: Travel Papers in American Literature – Introduction Part 1

Road Show: Travel Papers in American Literature (Introduction Part 1) PDF

This exhibition celebrates the American love of travel and adventure in both literary works and the real-life journeys that have inspired our most beloved travel narratives. Exploring American literary archives as well as printed and published works, Road Show reveals how travel is recorded, marked, and documented in Beinecke Library’s American collections. Passports and visas, postcards and letters, travel guides and language lessons—these and other archival documents attest to the physical, emotional, and intellectual experiences of moving through unfamiliar places, encountering new landscapes and people, and exploring different ways of life and world views. Literary manuscripts, travelers’ notebooks, and recorded reminiscences allow us to consider and explore travel’s capacity for activating the imagination and igniting creativity.  Artworks, photographs, and published books provide opportunities to consider the many ways artists and writers transform their own activities and human interactions on the road into works of art that both document and generate an aesthetic experience of journeying.



Luggage tag, 1934, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers

Shipboard photograph of Margaret Anderson, Louise Davidson, Madame Georgette LeBlanc, undated, Elizabeth Jenks Clark Collection of Margaret Anderson

Langston Hughes, Mexico, undated, Langston Hughes Papers

Langston Hughes, Some Travels of Langston Hughes world map, 1924-60, Langston Hughes Papers

Ezra Pound, Letter to Viola Baxter Jordan with map, 1949, Viola Baxter Jordan Papers

Kathryn Hulme, How’s the Road? San Francisco: Privately Printed [Jonck & Seeger], 1928

Baedeker Handbooks for Greece, Belgium and Holland, Paris, Berlin, Great Britain, various dates

Erica Van Horn, Rain [Clonmel, Tipperary, Ireland]: Coracle, 2009

H. Sargent Michaels, Photographic Automobile Map: A Carefully Compiled Series of Photographs of All Turns and Landmarks from Chicago to Milwaukee, Chicago: H. Sargent Michaels Company, c1905

Claude McKay traveling in Russia with Russian writers, 1920s, Claude McKay Papers

Jack Kerouac, “The Depression,” undated

Jack Kerouac, On the Road, New York: Viking Press, 1957

Terry Tempest Williams, travel planning calendar, undated, Terry Tempest Williams Papers

Lily Brooks-Dalton, Motorcycles I’ve Loved, New York: Riverhead, 2015

Nathan Asch, The Road: in Search of America, New York: Norton, [1937]

Erskine Caldwell, Around about America, drawings by Virginia M. Caldwell, New York: Farrar, Straus and Company, [1964]

Thomas D. Murphy, On Sunset Highways: A Book of Motor Rambles in California, Boston: L.C. Page & Company, c1921



Stein Luggage tag

YCAL MSS 76 box 140 folder 3300:



Anderson shipboard photo

YCAL MSS 265 box19 folder 340



Hughes Rowing photo

JWJ MSS 26 box 458 folder 11093


Some travels of Langston Hughes Map

Langston Hughes map of travels

JWJ MSS 26 box 514 folder12785



Ezra Pound Hand Drawn Map

Letter to Viola Baxter Jordan

YCAL MSS 175 Box 3 Folder 87



5 Baedekers – NOT collection material

left to right – Belgium, Paris, Berlin, Great Britain, Greece


Kathryn Hulme, How’s the Road

Za H876 928H


Car photo guide Chicago to Milwaukee

NLk32 P56


Van Horn Book Mark – windshield wipers

Zab V3115 +989L II



Kerouac, On the road mss page

YCAL MSS MISC Grp 1027 Item F-1


On the road

Zab K459 957P


Claude McKay photo

JWJ MSS 27 Box 18 folder 553



Terry Tempest Williams Calendar

WA MSS S-2700 Box 221


Lily Brooks-Dalton, Motorcycles I have loved

Zac B7914 M86 2015


Nathan Asch, The Road

Za As23 937R


Erskine Caldwell, Around about America

Za C127 964A


Thomas D. Murphy, On Sunset Highways

Zc72 915mub


TS1.3 item image

Road Show: Object Lists, Layout Photos, Galleries