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Leisure, Travel and Mass Culture - The History of Tourism

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Formerly 'History of Mass Tourism'


Editorial Board:

Dr Brad Beaven,
University of Portsmouth

Dr Marguerite Shaffer,
Miami University

Paul Smith,
Thomas Cook Archive

Dr Anthony Stanonis,
Queens University, Belfast

Professor Michele Strong,
University of South Alabama

Professor Eric G. E. Zuelow,
University of New England, Editor of Journal of Tourism History

Tony Sharkey,
Blackpool Central Library Local History Centre

Sean Griffin,
Brooklyn Historical Society

Source Libraries and Archives:

  • Blackpool Central Library Local History Centre

  • Brooklyn Historical Society

  • California Historical Society

  • Camping and Caravanning Club Archive

  • John W. Hartman Center, Duke University

  • George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida

  • J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans

  • Massachusetts Historical Society

  • Michigan State University

  • The National Archives, UK

  • The Newberry Library

  • New Hampshire Historical Society

  • The New York Academy of Medicine Library

  • Thomas Cook Archives

  • University of Westminster Archive

Nature of the Material:

The resource features a wide range of different document types, including:

  • Travel diaries and journals

  • Scrapbooks

  • Photographs

  • Guidebooks

  • Film

  • Posters

  • Postcards

  • Leaflets and brochures

  • Correspondence

  • Periodicals

  • Maps

  • Government documents

  • Printed books

  • Ephemera

  • Prints, engravings, illustration and sketches

Scope of the Collection:

Highly visual and searchable, Leisure, Travel and Mass Culture: The History of Tourism celebrates the growth of tourism for the masses from the mid-1800s through to the 1980s.

Rich in detail on destinations across Britain, the United States and Europe, particular attention is paid to seaside resorts, cultural tours and National Parks, including Yosemite and the White Mountains. The growth of travel agencies, particularly Thomas Cook, Lunn Poly and the Anspach Travel Bureau are well documented, along with the importance of transport networks for tourism development. This is complemented by a broad range of material on more exotic locations such as Egypt, Japan and Australia.

A wide variety of brochures, guidebooks, photo albums and tourist ephemera are supplemented by printed books, travel agency records, handwritten journals, government correspondence promoting tourism after the Second World War and periodicals such as Cook’s Excursionist (1851-1902).

Highlights also include promotional films from Thomas Cook, the Camping and Caravanning Club and Lunn Poly encouraging affordable British and European travel.

Health spas, beach resorts, camping holidays, wilderness travel, package tours and other popular vacations are all brought to life, with manuscript diaries and travel journals lending a truly personal perspective to the cultural and international influences on mass tourism across the decades.

Additional Features:

  • Visual galleries

  • Chronology

  • Exhibitions on Blackpool and Coney Island

  • Contextual essays