#apetravel - Travelling and Expeditions across the world

05-05-2022

Archives Portal Europe celebrates the 500th anniversary of the Magellan-Elcano expedition with an exhibition dedicated to travelling and expeditions across the world, with documents and curiosities from its network.

All on board!

The first stop on our journey is NORWAY.

The second stop on our journey is TURKEY

The third stop on our journey is FRANCE.

The fourth stop on our journey is SPAIN.

The last stop on our journey is the UNITED KINGDOM

_____________________

NORWAY

The Titanic disaster: 110th anniversary

RMS Titanic, a British passenger liner operated by the White Star Line, was the largest ship afloat at the time. It had departed from Southampton on 10 April 1912, stopping at Cherbourg ( France) and Queenstown (Ireland), before heading west towards New York.

On the 15th April 1912, after striking an iceberg RMS Titanic broke apart and sank south of Newfoundland, in the North Atlantic Ocean. It was thought that the huge ship with 16 watertight bulkheads could not sink and the disaster shocked the world for the huge loss of lives, as well as for the regulatory and operational failures that led to it.

Of the approximately 1,339 passengers on board and its 885 crew members, of which 23 were women, only 710 survived. The ship carried some of the wealthiest people at that time, emigrants from Great Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia and other places across Europe.


RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10, 1912.


The National Archives of Norway holds some documents related to the Titanic disaster as part of the collection of the White Star Line shipping company. In fact, the RMS Titanic had an office in Oslo for processing all those Norwegian passengers who wanted to travel to the UK or sail for America. In particular, the book in the picture below records the list of some of the emigrants that boarded the Titanic on 10th April 1912.

Emigrants list, White Star-linjen, Emigrants, 1906-1915, The National Archives of Norway


The three names registered under "TITANIC" are Arne Johan Fahlstrøm (18 years old) , Carl Midtsjø (22) and Olaf Pedersen (29). Of these, only one survived the disaster. In a letter to his brother dated 19 April 1912 sent from an hospital in New York, among other details on the tragedy of that night, Carl Midtsjø wrote how lucky he was to be alive and how he was allowed by the First Officer to board lifeboat 15.

The National Archives of Norway also preserves a few other documents related to legislations, hearings and conferences mostly held in the US and UK about security on ocean traffic following the Titanic disaster. You can find the full list available on Archives Portal Europe here.


The Kon-Tiki expedition

On 28 April 1947, a crew of six sailed from South America, across the Pacific Ocean in a hand-built raft, reaching the Tuamotu Islands, in Polynesia, on 7 August of the same year.

During the 101 days of navigation, the crew manned a raft built with the materials and technologies available to South American seafarers of pre-Columbian times.

The raft was named Kon-Tiki after the Inca god Viracocha, for whom "Kon-Tiki" was said to be an old name. The expedition's goal was indeed to demonstrate that people from South America could have reached Polynesia during pre-Columbian times, making a long sea voyage that might have created contacts between different cultures.

The Kon-Tiki expedition, 1947 - The Kon-Tiki Museum; 1983-013


The expedition was led by the Norwegian explorer and ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl (1914-2002), who had a background in zoology, botany, and geography. For Heyerdahl, the Kon-Tiki expedition was not an isolated experiment: He made four others oceanic trips in primitive vessels to demonstrate his theories that ancient civilisations may have spread from a common source through sea voyages.

His expeditions on primitive rafts and boats were documented in books, films, and television programs, generating large public interest in the possibility of travelling vast distances at sea in primitive vessels, and what this may represent for cultural exchanges and interconnections.

Heyerdahl received numerous praises for his work and was appointed a government scholar in 1984. But while he became more popular than any contemporary anthropologists, the scholarly reception of his ideas has been controversial, and the scientific community has rejected some of his theories.


An Attack Submarine

Since the Middle Ages, concepts for submarines or submersible boats have been designed without ever going further than a sketch. Only in the 17th century started to appear drawing and projects for functioning submarines such as those designed by Cornelius Van Drebbel, a Dutchman in the service of James I of England.

In the 18th century over a dozen patents for submarines had been granted mainly for military purposes in England, and some of them reached the planning and construction stage such as the famous Nautilus by Robert Fulton.

In Norway, during the Denmark-Norway war when Norway was under blockade by English ships, Mikkel Hallsteinsson Lofthus (1782-1850), a mechanic from Ullensvang submitted to the City Council of Bergen in 1808 drawing and plans for a submarine. He also made a model of the boat that he proposed to build.

Drawings and model of the attack submarine - National Archives of Norway – Regional State Archive in Bergen


The submarine was to be driven forward by three pairs of oars, and it would move up and down in the water by moving the weight inside the boat back and forth. The submarine would include air intakes and hooks that could seize enemy ships in order to drill holes.

While many appeared to be eager for the plan to be implemented, after advice from military experts, it was decided that the plan was unrealistic.

Nevertheless, Mikkel Hallsteinsson Lofthus was nominated Knight of the Dannebrog Order, a Danish Order of Knight, for his initiative and plans for the attack submarine.


TURKEY

Turkish nomads and the Josephine Powell Slide Collection

An Ottoman officer on a voyage, n.d., MNN_ALB06_phc_005, Mehmet Nihat Nigizberk Collection of Architectural Drawings and Photographs, Koç University Suna Kıraç Library


The Suna Kıraç Library in Istanbul holds a collection that documents the study of Anatolian textiles and ethnography that occupied the photographer Josephine Powell from the mid-1970s to the time of her death in 2007.

This beautiful collection contains over 35.000 of photographs, field and research notes, articles, photo essays executed at the beginning of Josephine Powell's career, as well as personal correspondence, snapshots and other personal belongings.

View of the Corinth Canal, Greece, July 16 ,1956, CTA_KIS_FK08_phg_35_01, Cahide Tamer Historic Buildings Restoration Projects Collection, Koç University Suna Kıraç Library


Josephine Powell moved to Instanbul in 1974, when she was commissioned to write a book on kilims. Since not much research existed in this subject, she decided to go into the field to do research herself.

Between the 1970s and 1980s she visited nomads and villagers in Anatolia, photographing their daily activities and their handicrafts. During these years, Powell also became fascinated by the lives of rural women and by their artful weaving.

Karaköy Passenger Hall, Galata Port, İstanbul, March 28, 1952, CTA_KIS_FK04_phg_13_01, Cahide Tamer Historic Buildings Restoration Projects Collection, Koç University Suna Kıraç Library


Throughout her research, Josephine Powell built a rich archive of photographs and field notes on flat-woven textiles made by nomadic, semi-nomadic, and settled weavers. These photos constitute a unique traces of a culture that has now disappeared.

Photograph from Hindu Pilgrimage by Jospehine Powell, Kashmir, 1962, Josephine Powell Photographic Archive, Koç University Suna Kıraç Library


“On the way back it rained for two days, but though they all suffered from the cold, it did not seem to matter. They have performed the most important religious duty; they have made a pilgrimage and are closer to the obtaining Moksha, the liberation from the cycle of rebirth.”

----Josephine Powell


In the mid-1980s, Powell was also involved in a project whose aim was to revive the use of natural dyes among villagers in Western Turkey. Some of these early dyeing experiments were even done in Josephine’s own kitchen. She was also involved in the founding of an ethnographic section in the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art in Istanbul.

Photograph from a local festival by Josephine Powell, Morocco, 1968, Josephine Powell Photographic Archive, Koç University Suna Kıraç Library


In her travels, Powell collected all kinds of artefacts used by Anatolian people for the purposes of agriculture and other daily tasks. The result of this tireless effort to collect ethnographic objects is a collection preserved at the Sadberk Hanım Museum, in Büyükdere, İstanbul. This collection of objects includes over 400 flatweaves and more than 1.000 wooden and metal artefacts.


FRANCE

La Boudeuse and Louis de Bougainville (1766-1769)

Our content provider, the French National Archives, holds the travel diary of Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, commander of La Boudeuse. Under his command, La Boudeuse left "La Rivière de Nantes" on 15 November 1766 for the first French circumnavigation of the globe.

In his travel diary, Bougainville noted down every detail of the expedition, accurately documenting information and observations about Polynesians and Melanesians.


After leaving Tahiti, La Boudeuse sailed west to southern Samoa and the New Hebrides , and after sighting Espiritu Santo turned west again in search of the "southern continent".

On March 16, 1769, the expedition completed the circumnavigation and arrived in Saint-Malo.

Bougainville's travel diary offers interesting and rich reports of his and his crew travel, detailing their journey every step of the way and registering every small change in the weather or curiosities about the places he visits. Moreover, this diary and all the data collected in it during the navigation contributed to the improvement of the cartography of the Pacific.


Particularly interesting are also the observations he makes about the small islands and shores he encounters during the expedition: he offers an accurate account of the plants, animals and fishes he sees, conveying a vivid image of the beauty and wildness of a nature that has not been yet contaminated by humans.


On Archives Portal Europe you can find the list of resources related to the nautical/travel journals of La Boudeuse and its expedition here.


Philibert Commerson and his research aboard La Boudeuse

When La Boudeuse sailed for the first French circumnavigation of the globe under the command of Louis de Bougainville, various scientists joined the expedition.

Among these was the naturalist Philibert Commerson (1727-1773) who was in charge of studying the flora of the new lands.

During the expedition he collected many plants from each land La Boudeuse touched during the journey, some of these plants and flowers were gathered in numerous herbaria.

« Cahiers de botanique, ou recueil de plantes sèches, » par Philibert Commerson


He described in his herbaria hundreds of plants, such as the genus Bougainvillea, which was named after Louis de Bougainville.

« Cahiers de botanique, ou recueil de plantes sèches, » par Philibert Commerson


Commerson joined the expedition together with his partner and assistant Jeanne Baré disguised as a man. Like in a novel, they managed to keep her gender secret for a while, but was discovered when the expedition reached Tahiti. Nevertheless, she was allowed to continue the expedition as Commerson's personal assistant and nurse, since the botanist was often ill.

Barré (Jeanne), domestique de M. de Commerson, botaniste de l'expédition de Bougainville autour du monde.


Commerson died at Mauritius in 1773. The numerous manuscripts and herbaria he produced during the expedition were brought to Paris after his death and are currently preserved at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris.


SPAIN

The Magellan and Elcano Expedition: The Beginning of the Expedition

The Magellan and Elcano expedition was a 16th century maritime expedition funded by the Spanish Crown and captained at the beginning by the Portugueses Ferdinand Magellan and, on his return, by Juan Sebastián Elcano, which completed the first circumnavigation of the Globe in history. The expedition aimed to open a trade route to the "Spice Islands" (today's Moluccas) from the west, seeking a passage between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

Ahead of the expedition, Ferdinand Magellan had to obtain permission for the discovery of the Route from King Charles I and various privileges for the voyage which are documented in a series of instrumenta preserved at General Archive of the Indies (Seville, Spain).

For instance, the following photos show a few pages from the agreement established by the King with Fernand Magallan and Ruy Falero for the discovery and contracting of the Spice Route. The full document is available here.

Documentos pertenecientes a la Sección de Patronato del Archivo General de Indias
Documentos pertenecientes a la Sección de Patronato del Archivo General de Indias


The royal confirmation of the seat and agreement was recorded in the books that the secretary Francisco de los Cobos had "of the dispatches and contracting of the Indies and of the discovery and contracting of the Espeçiería".

The General Archive of the Indies also preserves the Instruction given by Charles I to Ferdinand Magellan and Ruy Falero, knights of the Order of Santiago and captains general, regarding what they were to observe in the Armada organised for the expedition to discover the Spices route, dated "1519, May, 8. Barcelona".

Documentos pertenecientes a la Sección de Patronato del Archivo General de Indias
Documentos pertenecientes a la Sección de Patronato del Archivo General de Indias


Another interesting document is the Memorial attributed to Fernand Magellan and Ruy Falero, in which they ask King Charles I to comply with what they had discussed regarding the preparation of an Armada of discovery, and to grant them some privileges and graces.

According to this hypothesis, the document would have been probably written during the negotiations for the preparation of the Armada for the Spice Route.

Documentos pertenecientes a la Sección de Patronato del Archivo General de Indias
Documentos pertenecientes a la Sección de Patronato del Archivo General de Indias
Documentos pertenecientes a la Sección de Patronato del Archivo General de Indias


The Magellan and Elcano Expedition: Passage through South America

The expedition sailed from Seville on 10 August 1519 consisted of five ships, and after finalising preparations, the ships left Sanlúcar de Barrameda for good on 20 September 1519.

After having explored the American coastline south of Brazil for months, the fleet managed to cross the Strait of Magellan on 28 November 1520.

Documentos pertenecientes a la Sección de Patronato del Archivo General de Indias - Route of the voyage of Ferdinand Magellan in demand of the Strait of Magellan. From the place of Cape St. Augustine, p.1


The annotations of the route attributed to Francisco Albo begin in 1519 on "Tuesday the 29th day of the month of November […] being in the area of Cape San Agustín and at an altitude of 7 degrees on the south side, and 27 leagues southeast [sic] from the said Cape".

Documentos pertenecientes a la Sección de Patronato del Archivo General de Indias - Route of the voyage of Ferdinand Magellan in demand of the Strait of Magellan. From the place of Cape St. Augustine, p.2


After travelling through the Pacific, the expedition discovered the island of Guam, the Marshall Islands and reached the Philippine Islands. Here, on 27 April 1521, Ferdinand Magellan was killed in the battle of Mactan.

Portrait of Ferdinand Magellan - Archivo General de Indias
Seis croquis de algunas de las islas Marshall y de la isla de los Ladrones (actualmente Guam), 22v - Available here
Seis croquis de algunas de las islas Marshall y de la isla de los Ladrones (actualmente Guam), 21r. Available here


The expedition continued sailing to the Moluccas, the destination of their voyage, where they established trade relations and took on a large cargo of spices. Testimony of the establishment of such relations is included in a document traditionally cited as "Paces del Maluco".

Libro de las pazes - Available here
Libro de las pazes - Available here


"Paces del Maluco" offers an account of the commercial and diplomatic activities of the Armada de la Especiería during the period in which was commanded by captains Gonzalo Gómez de Espinosa and Juan Sebastián Elcano, after the death of Fernando de Magallanes in Mactan. Among other things, it includes the agreements and transactions they made with several kings and local authorities of Borneo and the Molucca Islands.

It is in the Moluccas that Juan Sebastián Elcano was chosen to lead the return voyage with the ship "Victoria". They quickly left the islands after having mistakenly understood that they were being attacked by their inhabitants. They sailed westwards across the southern Indian Ocean and around Africa, trying to avoid encountering with Portuguese ships so as not to be captured.

Among the many documents held by the Archivo General de Indias about the Magellan-Elcano expedition there is also a document listing the names of 103 crew-members of the expedition, in chronological order of death or other types of incident, from 20 December 1519, when the first death occurred (execution of Antón Salamón, master of the ship Victoria), to 14 July 1522 (death of the sailor Esteban Bretón).

Relación de tripulantes de la Armada enviada al descubrimiento de la Especiería fallecidos, desertores o dejados en las Molucas.


The Magellan and Elcano expedition: The return to Spain and the fate of the Trinidad

The "Victoria" began its journey home sailing via the Indian Ocean commanded by Juan Sebastián Elcano. After rounding the Cape of Good Hope around May 1522, the Victoria managed to reach the Portuguese Cape Verde for provision, although twenty members of the crew had already died of starvation.

Having escaped the Portuguese in Cape Verde after they discovered the Victoria was carrying spices from the East Indies, on 6 September the “Victoria” managed to return to Sanlúcar de Barrameda, arriving two days later in Seville with its cargo of spices, becoming the first ship in history to circumnavigate the world.

Here, Elcano appeared before the Emperor to report on the expedition.

This is a letter from Juan Sebastián Elcano narrating the incidents of his expedition around the world: the discovery of the Strait of Magellan, arrival at the Molucca Islands and collection of quantities of spices, belonging of the islands to the zone of Spanish expansion and confirmation of the sphericity of the earth. He requests for the survivors of the expedition the grant of the "fourth part and twenty of their boxes" (1522, September, 6. Sanlúcar).

Archivo General de Indias, PATRONATO,48,R.20, available here


Elcano had also to provide details about the losses of the crew and accounts were settled with the crew and the relatives of those who died on the voyage - including Ferdinand Magellan.

Archivo General de Indias, PATRONATO,34,R.19
Archivo General de Indias, PATRONATO,34,R.19
Account of the salary due to 107 of the crew members of the expedition to the Moluccas Islands captained by Ferdinand Magellan. Archivo General de Indias, PATRONATO,34,R.4
Proceedings of Jaime Barbosa and his sisters with the prosecutor, on the claim of their rights as heirs of Fernando de Magallanes, captain general of the Armada to the Species. Archivo General de Indias, PATRONATO,36,R.2


As for Juan Sebastián Elcano, he died a few years later in 1526 after planning a new expedition that would secure the new trade route to the Moluccas.

Documents about Juan Sebastián Elcano: will and other instruments related to his family.


While the Victoria managed to return safely to Spain, different was the fate of another ship, the Trinidad. While the expedition was in the Moluccas, it was decided that the Trinidad would try to return to Spain's possessions in America by sailing east across the Pacific.

Unfortunately, the Trinidad did not find the right sea route and had to return to the Moluccas, where it was seized by the Portuguese. This letter from Gonzalo Gómez de Espinosa to Charles I, narrates the vicissitudes of the solo voyage of the Trinidad through the North Pacific, and its imprisonment by the Portuguese.

Archivo General de Indias, INDIFERENTE,1528,N.2, the complete letter can be found here
Archivo General de Indias, INDIFERENTE,1528,N.2 - the complete letter can be found here


You can browse more documents related to the expedition here.



Salvador Fidalgo and the road to Alaska

Among the numerous Spanish explorations and the many archival documents related to them, there is the voyage captained by Salvador Fidalgo whose expedition reached Alaska in the 18th century.

Salvador Fidalgo was a Spanish explorer who in 1790 was sent by the Viceroy of New Spain, to San Lorenzo de Nootka (near Vancouver island).

In May of that same year, Fidalgo left Nootka reaching some weeks later Alaska.

After finding no signs of Russian presence on that territory, he traded with natives in the area conducting in June 1790 a ceremony of sovereignty, which involved erecting a cross and, then, naming the area Puerto Córdova.

Fidalgo continued his voyages along the Alaskan coast, reaching today's Gravina Point, followed by Puerto Valdez and, in July, after an encounter with the Russians, he celebrated another ceremony of sovereignty near today's English Bay or Nanwalek, Alaska.

Finally, Fidalgo led the expedition back to San Blas, arriving on 15 November 1790.

Among the documents related to the Fidalgo expedition preserved as part of the General Archive of Indes (Archivo General de Indias) there is a copy of the letter sent by Salvador Fidalgo to the Count of Revillagigedo, Viceroy of New Spain, in which Fidalgo reports on the expedition. The letter was written from San Blas on 13 November 1790.

Copy of the letter from Salvador Fidalgo to the Count of Revillagigedo, Viceroy of New Spain - Archivo General de Indias


The letter reports how the expedition, under the command of Commander Francisco de Eliza, together with the frigates "Concepción", the packet boat "San Carlos, alias the Filipino" and the sloop "Princesa Real", went to the land of Prince William Sound and Ribera de Cook and consolidated the establishment of Nutka.

The letter is followed by a series of copies of testimonies in which it is provided a list of discovered lands, seas, rivers, and bays adjacent to the new territories, such as the newly named Bahía de Córdoba (no.3), Ensenada de Menéndez (no.4), Puerto de Gravina (no.5), and Puerto de Revillagigedo (no.6).

Copy of the testimony and taking possession in the name of the King of Spain of the discovered lands, seas, rivers, inlets and bays adjacent to the newly named Bahía de Córdoba, No.3 - Available here.
Copy of the testimony and taking possession in the name of the King of Spain of the discovered lands, seas, rivers, inlets and bays adjacent to the newly named Ensenada de Menéndez, No.4 - Available here.
Copy of the testimony and taking possession in the name of the King of Spain, of the discovered lands, seas, rivers, inlets and bays adjacent to the newly named Puerto de Gravina, No.5 - Available here.
Copy of the testimony and taking possession in the name of the King of Spain, of the discovered lands, seas, rivers, inlets and bays adjacent to the newly named Puerto de Revillagigedo, No.6 - Available here.


UNITED KINGDOM

Austen Henry Layard and the exploration of Nimrud

Sir Austen Henry Layard was an archaeologist, politician, and diplomat, who, beginning in 1845, worked on excavations at the archaeological sites of Nimrud and Nineveh.

In 1839 he decided to leave England for Sri Lanka (Ceylon) with the prospect of obtaining a post in the Civil Service, starting a series of travels across Asia. However, he never reached Ceylon. Instead, after spending some time in Mosul, he became interested in locating the ancient cities mentioned in the Bible, starting a series of excavations and archaeological campaigns for which he is renowned.

Testimony of these early years of excavations are the numerous pencil sketches and notes included in the Layard Archives, preserved currently by our content provider the Newcastle University Special Collections and Archives.

Portrait of Austen Henry Layard in 1850 during his archaeological campaigns.
From The Monuments of Nineveh (Layard 935.2 LAY) copyright: University of Newcastle


In 1845, Sir Layard began exploring the ruins of Assyria which led to important discoveries essential to gaining a better understanding and shedding light on the ancient civilisations of Mesopotamia and their culture.

The expedition with which his name is mainly associated is that concerning the ruins of Nimrud on the Tigris.

Among the numerous and detailed sketches included in the Layard Archives, probably one of the most famous is the one depicting the beautiful Winged Bull/ Lion from Nimrud.


Layard’s pencil sketch of the Winged Bull/ Lion from Nimrud (LAY/1/5). copyright: University of Newcastle
Engraving depicting the removal of the Great Winged Bull at Nimrud, the original sketch of which previously formed part of the Layard Archive but is now held in the British Museum. From Nineveh and Its Remains, vol. 1 (Layard 915.67 LAY) copyright: University of Newcastle


The Layard Archives also contains fragments of Assyrian pottery and other archaeological objects collected or gifted to him during his travels, alongside letters, papers, engravings and other sketches often stained and creased as they had been created while he was working and researching on-site.

Browse the full list of content included in the Layard Archives on Archives Portal Europe: https://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/GB-186/type/fa/id/gb186-lay/search/0/Layard+LRDBRKT_Austen+Henry_RRDBRKT+Archive


Gertrude Bell: snapshots from her travels

Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell (14 July 1868 – 12 July 1926) was an English writer, traveller, political officer, administrator, and archaeologist.

Gertrude Bell was educated at Queen's College, London and at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford where she obtained a first class in modern history in 1888. In the years immediately following her graduation, she travelled in Europe and visited Persia. Her travels continued with two trips around the world, in 1897-1898 and in 1902-1903.

Gertrude Bell spent much of her life exploring and mapping the Middle East, learning Arabic, investigating archaeological sites in this area, and travelling into the desert accompanied only by male guides. She also learned to speak Persian and wrote extensively about her archaeological findings and her travels.

Portrait photograph of Gertrude Bell, aged 53 years. Copyright: Newcastle University


The knowledge she gained over the years about the Middle East led her into service with the British Intelligence during the First World War. In 1915 she was appointed to the Arab Bureau in Cairo, which was involved in gathering information useful for mobilising the Arabs against Turkey.

Her first love, however, was always for archaeology, so much so that between 1923 and 1926, as Honorary Director of Antiquities in Iraq, she established the Iraq Museum in Baghdad.

She documented her travels in detail through photography, capturing snapshots of far away countries and populations. From the photos included in Gertrude Bell's Archive - currently preserved as part of the Newcastle University Special Collections and Archives - clearly emerges her passion for archaeology and ancient civilisations.

Here are a few examples of the beautiful pictures taken mostly by Gertrude Bell during her travels around the world.

Khirbet esh Shems [Basilica, general view of exterior from SW] - 1905 - Syria, Turkey. Copyright: Newcastle University. Available here
Crusader Castle, Qal'at al-Bahr - sea castle - with bridge across sea leading to it. View from shore - 1905 - Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Syria. Copyright: Newcastle University. Available here.
Spoleto Duomo [Cathedral - dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta - general view of facade, showing Renaissance portico, eight rose windows and mosaics (signed Solsternus - 1207) - 1910 - Italy. Copyright: Newcastle University. Available here.
Ostia [Fragment of carved frieze] - 1910 - Italy. Copyright: Newcastle University. Available here.
View of street and Koreans - 1903 - Korea. Available here.
Zara [Market square with column and capital in background. Women and children in foreground] - 1910 Zara - Yugoslavia. Copyright: Newcastle University. Available here.


Gertrude Bell's Archive also includes letters sent home to her family whilst on her travels, the diaries she kept when abroad, and albums of photographs taken whilst she was away.

You can browse the content of Gertrude Bell's Archive on Archives Portal Europe: here.


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  • A university archive or archive of another research organisation holds the records pertaining to the administration of the according educational or research body.
  • Political parties, popular/labour movements and other non-governmental organisations, associations, agencies and foundations hold the archival collections of these institutions, outside of governmental records and outside of business archives (e.g., NGOs)

Enter a start and/or end date in the format DD-MM-YYYY, i.e. 01-01-1900 for 1 January 1900. This will allow you to focus your search on a specific period of time. You can use the calendar function or type directly in the text field. The checkbox "Exact date search" concentrates the search on one specific date.

Check "View in context" to view the results in the hierarchical structure of archives.

  • Choose "List view" to view the results in a simple list, ordered according to relevance or date
  • Choose "Context view" to view the results in the hierarchical structure of the holding archives.

For more details see Research Tools

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A holdings guide is an overview of the collections and fonds of one archival institution.

A finding aid is a structured description of archival materials per collection or fonds up to item level.

You can filter results by selecting one or more countries of interest. You can also combine this filter with other filters. Your filter selection will appear above. Click "Clear filters" to see all results matching your initial search request again.

You can filter results by one or more holding archival institutions. You can also combine this filter with other filters. Your filter selection will appear above. Click "Clear filters" to see all results matching your initial search request again.

You can select to view results from a specific Finding Aid, i.e., a structured description of archival materials per collection or fonds up to item level. You can also combine this filter with other filters. Your filter selection will appear above. Click "Clear filters" to see all results matching your initial search request again.

You can filter by type of descriptive document:

  • "Holdings Guide": an overview of the collections and fonds of one archival institution.
  • "Source guide": a topic-oriented overview of collections and fonds of one or several institutions. a description of the archival collections available. Similar to Holdings guides
  • "Finding aid" provides more detailed descriptions of the archival materials of specific collections or fonds

You can also combine this filter with other filters. Your filter selection will appear above. Click "Clear filters" to see all results matching your initial search request again.

You can filter results by selecting "Fonds description" for a general overview or "Other descriptions" for item level. You can also combine this filter with other filters. Your filter selection will appear above. Click "Clear filters" to see all results matching your initial search request again.

You can filter results by selecting only those containing digital objects, i.e. the link to the digitised version of the archival material you are looking for. You can also combine this filter with other filters. Your filter selection will appear above. Click "Clear filters" to see all results matching your initial search request again.

You can filter results by type of digital object you are interested in:

  • Text: most documental material, such as administrative records, letters, manuscripts etc.
  • Image: includes photographs, posters, maps.
  • Sound: sound recording with no images
  • Video: moving images with or without sound
  • Unspecified: indicates that the holding institution has not specified the type of digital object
  • 3D: 3-d digital objects

You can also combine this filter with other filters. Your filter selection will appear above. Click "Clear filters" to see all results matching your initial search request again.

You can filter results based on the date of creation of the archival material (which may differ from the time period you are interested in - e.g., philosophers from the Enlightenment period reflecting on classic thinkers)

  • Full dates includes normalised date information available for date-based searches. It is recommended to combine this selection with the filters "Start timespan" and "End timespan" for more details.
  • Only descriptive dates provides the date information in human-readable format.
  • No date either includes documents where the creation date is unknown, or where date information is not in a machine-readable format

Please note that not all documents contain a machine-readable date. More information here

You can filter results based on the date of creation of the archival material (which may differ from the time period you are interested in - e.g., philosophers from the Enlightenment period reflecting on classic thinkers). This filter will only include materials with "Full dates", i.e. those that include date information available for date-based searches. You can either search for a specific date of interest or focus step by step on the time span of a century, decade, year or month. When searching for a specific date, enter the date in the format DD-MM-YYYY, i.e. 01/01/1900 for 1 January 1900, via the calendar function or by typing directly in the text field.
This filter concentrates on the earliest dates mentioned in the materials.

You can filter results based on the date of creation of the archival material (which may differ from the time period you are interested in - e.g., philosophers from the Enlightenment period reflecting on classic thinkers). This filter will only include materials with "Full dates", i.e. those that include date information available for date-based searches. You can either search for a specific date of interest or focus step by step on the time span of a century, decade, year or month. When searching for a specific date, enter the date in the format DD-MM-YYYY, i.e. 01/01/1900 for 1 January 1900, via the calendar function or by typing directly in the text field.
This filter concentrates on the latest dates mentioned in the materials.

You can filter results based on the language in which the material is written. Please note that this filter will only include materials where specific language information has been provided by the institution and is therefore in a machine-readable format. You can also combine this filter with other filters. Your selection will then be displayed above the search results (see "Search filters"). Clicking "Clear filters" will remove your selection and you will see all results matching your initial search request again.



You can filter results by selecting one or more topics of interest. Please note that this filter will only include materials where the topic has been assigned and is therefore in a machine-readable format. Read how to assign a topic to documents on the Topics page. You can also combine this filter with other filters. Your selection will then be displayed above the search results (see "Search filters"). Clicking "Clear filters" will remove your selection and you will see all results matching your initial search request again.



You can filter results by selecting where your search terms appears specifically inside the archival description:

  • The name can be the full name of a person, family or organisation as well as only parts of it, e.g. only the last name.
  • The identifier is used internally by the institution or refers to (inter)national vocabularies such as the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF).
  • The place can be the place of birth (or foundation), the place of death (or closing), the place of work or any other place of importance.
  • The occupation is the profession or job of a person
  • The mandate is a law, directive or charter that establishes and defines an organisation's powers, functions, responsibilities or sphere of activities.
  • The function is an activity, role, or purpose performed or manifested by a person, family or organisation

You can also combine this filter with other filters. Your selection will then be displayed above the search results (see "Search filters"). Clicking "Clear filters" will remove your selection and you will see all results matching your initial search request again.

You can filter results by type of entities:

  • Person (e.g., John Locke or Jean Jaques Rousseau)
  • Family (e.g., the family Bonaparte)
  • Corporate body (an institution, organisation, or company, e.g. the "Ministerie van Justitie")
You can also combine this filter with other filters. Your selection will then be displayed above the search results (see "Search filters"). Clicking "Clear filters" will remove your selection and you will see all results matching your initial search request again.

You can filter results based on the language in which the material is written. Please note that this filter will only include materials where specific language information has been provided by the institution and is therefore in a machine-readable format. You can also combine this filter with other filters. Your selection will then be displayed above the search results (see "Search filters"). Clicking "Clear filters" will remove your selection and you will see all results matching your initial search request again.

You can filter results based on the type of holding institution. Please note that this filter will only include institutions, for which a type has been provided as part of their descriptions.

  • A business archive holds the records of (often) commercial organisations.
  • A church or religious archive holds the records of church parishes or religious organisations, e.g. birth or death registers.
  • A county or local authority archive holds the records of the county's administrative bodies.
  • A media archive holds audiovisual or sound records, e.g. a film archive or the archive of a broadcasting company.
  • A municipal archive holds the records of a town or city administration.
  • A national archive holds the records of a country's administrative bodies, i.e. from ministries and other public bodies, sometimes also private papers of former ministers, chancellors, or presidents.
  • A private person or family archive holds the records forming the legacy of a prominent person or family.
  • A regional archive holds the records of a region's administrative bodies.
  • A specialised governmental archive holds records of public bodies, often operating on a national level, that are not part of the national archives' holdings.
  • A specialised non-governmental archive or archive of another cultural heritage institution hold collections from various cultural heritage institutions, eg. museum archives, libraries archives, etc
  • A university archive or archive of another research organisation holds the records pertaining to the administration of the according educational or research body.
  • Political parties, popular/labour movements and other non-governmental organisations, associations, agencies and foundations hold the archival collections of these institutions, outside of governmental records and outside of business archives (e.g., NGOs)

Write your message in your own language and use this drop-down menu to have your message translated into English or in the language of the institution for a swifter response. By checking this box and selecting a language you will send your original message along with the translated version

What kind of suggestion would you like to make?

  • Assign to topic: assign this record to one of our Topics. Topics are created following the Unesco Thesaurus
  • Suggest translation: If you have translated this archival description or the documents themselves, please send it to us as a .doc or .pdf file
  • Connect to another resource: If this object relates to another resource in Archives Portal Europe, or anywhere else on the web (e.g., an article on Wikipedia), you can suggest it to be linked to this resource
  • Other: If you have any other relevant material, such as a transcription of the document, please upload it and let us know here

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Please contact the providing institution for more information and in order to acquire additional permissions for any other uses.

This object is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons - Attribution, ShareAlike (BY-SA) licence. You can copy, redistribute, remix, tweak and build upon the licensed object, even for commercial purposes, as long as you attribute the rights holder as described in the licence, and you license your adaptations of the object under the same terms.

This object is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons - Attribution, ShareAlike (BY-SA) licence. You can copy, redistribute, remix, tweak and build upon the licensed object, even for commercial purposes, as long as you attribute the rights holder as described in the licence, and you license your adaptations of the object under the same terms.

This object is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons - Attribution, No Derivates (BY-ND) licence. You can copy and redistribute the object, even commercially, as long as no alteration is made to the object and you attribute the rights holder as described in the licence.

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This object is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons - Attribution, Non-Commercial, ShareAlike (BY-NC-SA) licence. You can copy, redistribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the licensed object for non-commercial use only, as long as you attribute the rights holder as described in the licence, and as long as you license your adaptations of the object under the same terms.

This object is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons - Attribution, Non-Commercial, No Derivates (BY-NC-ND) licence. You can copy and redistribute the object for non-commercial use only, as long as no alteration is made to the object and as long as you attribute the rights holder as described in the licence.

If you remix, transform or build upon the object, you may not distribute the modified material.