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European Travel Diary

Identifier: Ms-1989-002

Scope and Content

This collection consists of a single travel journal maintained by an unidentified traveler during a two-month European tour in 1847. The diary commences in Naples on April 19. In lengthy entries, the writer proceeds to share observations on architecture and the landscape, as well as daily activities and encounters with local inhabitants. As the tour proceeds through Italy, Albania, and Greece, the writer makes frequent mentions of traveling companions, as well as hotels, restaurants, and sites visited. The writer mentions taking lessons in Greek, and several short passage are written in that language. The journal ends on July 6, 1847, at Red House, with an unfinished summary of travel experiences of the previous two weeks. The journal's endpapers contain a daily itinerary of the trip. The itinerary suggests that Red House was located somewhere in Ireland.


  • 1847

Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.

Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Biographical / Historical

The writer of this journal had long been identified as an American woman but upon closer inspection, the contents suggest that the journal was instead maintained by a man, probably Irish or English. Among other evidence is this passage from May 19: "D. informed them we were officers from Corfu upon leave - if he had said we were English travellers, they wd have called us 'mylords,' & expected great baksheesh." The writer invariably uses such British spellings as "favourite" and "harbour." Moreover, in the final entry, the writer mentions a "return to England" and writing from "my Red House bedroom." On the back endpapers, the trip itinerary shows the traveler taking a steamer from Liverpool to Dublin on June 30, overnighting in Dublin on July 1, and arriving at Red House the following day.


0.1 Cubic Feet (1 folder)


Extensive description of a two-month European tour through Italy, Greece, and Albania, by an unidentified writer, possibly an Englishman living in Ireland.

Source of Acquisition

The European Travel Diary was purchased by Special Collections and University Archives in 1989.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the European Travel Diary by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (


The original title assigned to this item was "Travel Diary," but during processing, it was determined that "European Travel Diary" would provide better access.

Processing Information

The processing and description of the European Travel Diary commenced and was completed in January 2022.

European Travel Diary, 1847
John M. Jackson
2022 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020-08-27: Finding aid notes updated to new department standards. juliags
  • 2021-04-26: LM Rozema added missing notes for an unprocessed collection, added FA title and filing titles, added FA date from EAD, and added component with instances previously attached to collection level.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US