Travel and Publicity

The Cover of Whiting’s
Travel Journal

So in the past couple weeks (interrupted by Spring Break), I spent time cross-checking the PR files with the Finding Aid for them in Word, which some of the interns last summer compiled. It’s incredibly detailed and I only made a few additions – they did a really good job! Since then, I’ve been reading and researching a travel journal written in 1898 by Kate Burr Draper Whiting. I just finished reading and taking notes on it today and it’s incredibly fascinating. Whiting, around 60 years old at the time, took a two and a half month long “cruise” with her husband and two of her sons. They traveled to an incredibly amount of places, including Spain, France, Tunisia, Algeria, Jerusalem, Lebanon, Istanbul, Greece, Italy, and Egypt. Two of the most interesting part of the journal are the fact that it is typed (probably by a typewriter, which would become fully standardized ten years after Whiting’s trip) and the multitude of photographs taken. Over 100 photographs line the pages of Whiting’s journal. In 1888, George Eastman invented the Kodak camera, which allowed anyone to take a photograph while allowing others to process that photograph. In 1901, the Kodak Brownie became mass produced for the general population. While the Brownie was released after Whiting’s trip and she does not refer to the process she used to take the photographs, I think the photography alters her narrative – not only did I get to read in great detail about the places, but I was able to see them as well. Pretty cool in my opinion!!

Street and Marketplace in Jerusalem

One of the Egyptian Pyramids
and a Camel

After this, I will be fully processing and organizing a Finding Aid for this journal. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it so far because of my dual love for history and travel, and look forward to completing more research on its author. Simultaneously, I will continue to work on re-housing the negatives from the PR Group, which will show me more of the College’s history. As the second half of the semester launches, I look forward to more interesting work within Special Collections and Archives!

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