The journey matters!
This could be the title of a travel book, a travel diary or a travelog (OR travelogue) of the traveler’s experiences, written during the course of the journey and later edited for publication. What fascinates the most in travel books of past centuries, is the detailed description and, in many cases, visualization of a world that still contained come cartographic unknowns.
Free spirited explorers and fearless travelers experiencing misty landscapes, missionaries with a higher purpose, pilgrims in search of a spiritual experience, diplomats serving their nation’s interests in a foreign land, artists seeking their next muse and inspiration, architects admiring constructions so different from what they have been designing, food experts and enthusiasts tasting lusting cuisines, soldiers documenting their striving efforts in the battle field, and so many others having eye-opening experiences, filled the travel books with narrations and useful travel tips.
Koç University Libraries rare collections include valuable such publications. For the purpose of the project “Following the footsteps of travelers…KU Libraries reveal their treasures”, we decided to bring into light travel books until the 19th century, focusing on the geographical area that used to be the Ottoman Empire and the neighboring countries.
This 3 months themed project was developed by library staff members from SKL, AKMED, ANAMED and VEKAM and included various activities which aimed to present the treasures we safeguard in our collections and remind us that adventures into the unknown is the key!
Browse the LibGuide and read the Blog posts under different themes using resources from the collection, browse the digital exhibitions that give you a glimpse of some rare publications, listen to podcasts with researchers focusing on travel books, browse several titles from our library catalog, find information about important travelers and similar projects in other countries, see all details of our collection holdings from the infographics posters and watch the recorded videos of the 2 days conference we organized on travel books and on Evliya Çelebi, the famous Ottoman explorer.
Remember that travelogues are an important literary source, providing a comprehensive account of data about the social conditions and the culture, the political events and the economic features of people or nations.
– Suna Kıraç Library – Naz Özkan, Reference & Outreach Librarian
– AKMED Library – Remziye Boyraz Seyhan, Library Senior Specialist
– ANAMED Library – Vasiliki Mole, Head Librarian & Irem Ünal, Branch Librarian
– VEKAM Library – Duygu Kevser Ülger, Branch Librarian – Team Leader
“To travel is to live”
― Hans Christian Andersen