Road Show: Travel Papers in American Literature – Introduction Part 2

Road Show: Travel Papers in American Literature (Introduction Part 2)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.


Eugene O’Neill, Wolf Lake, Adirondacks, 1933, Eugene O’Neill Papers

Jean Toomer, Passport, 1926, Jean Toomer Papers

James Weldon Johnson, French lessons prepared for Grace Nail Johnson, undated, James Weldon & Grace Nail Johnson Papers

Laura Davidson, Wanderlust, Boston: 2016

Ludwig Bemelmans, letter to Pascal Covici, [August 1961], Ludwig Bemelmans Letters Collection

Richard Wright, List of Paris bars and restaurants, with explanatory notes, undated; Reader’s card, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, 1953-54, Richard Wright Papers

Karl Baedeker, Greece; Handbook for Travelers, Leipzig: K. Baedeker, 1909, H.D.’s copy with the poet’s annotations, H. D. Papers

H.D., Travel Photo Album, undated, H. D. Papers

Little Journeys in Colorado, issued by Passenger Traffic Department, Rock Island Lines, [Colorado: Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company, 1924]

Lynn Morley Bell, Scrapbook of a trip around the world, 1934 May-November

Gerald and Sara Murphy with Ada and Archibald MacLeish, Vienna, Austria, 1927, Gerald and Sara Murphy Papers

Alldrerige Studio, cabinet card photograph of boy on bicycle, Wallingford, CT, [1895], Randolph Linsley Simpson African American Collection

How to Do It on a Bicycle, compliments of North Pacific Cycle Co., Portland and Tacoma,

[Portland, Oregon?, between 1892 and 1900?]

John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America, New York: Viking Press, [1962]

Langston Hughes, The Big Sea: An Autobiography, New York: A. A. Knopf, 1940

John Muir, A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1916

Gloria Steinem, My Life on the Road, New York: Random House, 2015


Eugene O’Neill in Carlotta’s diary

YCAL MSS 123 Box 84 folder 1501


Jean Toomer Passport

JWJ MSS 1Box 65 Folder 1490



JWJ French lessons for GNJ

JWJ MSS 49 Box 92 folder 758



Laura Davidson, Wanderlust


Ludwig Bemelmans letter

Gen MSS 686 Box 1 folder 4


Richard Wright List of Paris Bars with explanatory note

JWJ 3.117.1875


Baedeker–Greece handbook for travelers

Za D721 Zz909K


H. D. Album

YCAL MSS 24 Box53 Folder 1349


Little Journeys in California

Zm L72135


Little Journeys in Colorado

Zc49 924Li


Lynn Morley Bell Album




Murphys and MacLeishes in Vienna

YCAL MSS 468 box29 folder 561



Richard Wright Bibliotheque  Nationale Card

JWJ MSS 3 box 117 folder 1864


Richard Wright Notes on Paris Bars

JWJ MSS 3 box 117 folder1875


Photo of boy on Bicycle—large cabinet card

JWJ MSS 54 Box 9 folder241



How to Do It on a Bicycle

Zc74 892ho


Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

Za St345 962T


Langston Hughes, The Big Sea

JWJ Zan H874 940b


John Muir, A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf

Za M896 916t


Gloria Steinnem, My Life on the Road

Za St3498 2015M

TN8.4 item image

Road Show: Object Lists, Layout Photos, Galleries