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Diary of a trip from Egypt and Jerusalem


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

This paper-bound volume contains the travel diary of an unnamed Englishman's journey from Egypt to Jerusalem spanning 12 March to 14 April, 1848. In the volume are detailed visual descriptions, societal observations, and personal perspectives of Cairo, the surrounding sights, and journey from there to Jerusalem. Beginning in Egypt the diarist records his impressions of the tombs, the sights of traveling caravans from Darfur, and his fascination of native peoples crafting harps and chairs in their villages. While in Cairo the diarist mentions receiving his mail and news of the abdication of Louis Philippe I of France in 1848. The Englishman is traveling with his wife Evelyn and his son Alexander. The family travels to the pyramids of Giza, the Coptic Quarter of Old Cairo, and Khan el-Kahalili in the Islamic district. At each location he records architectural details, other travelers, and the bazaars. Before leaving on his journey for Jerusalem the diarist makes arrangements for his wife and son to return to England and they depart on 25 March. In addition he discusses sending antiquities back to London. In order for the Englishman to travel to Jerusalem he arranges for a two-month extension of time off from work through a doctor. He hires a dragoman from Syria named Herman S. Michael, whom the diarist describes in great detail, to guide him on the journey. At the outset of the journey to Jerusalem, their caravan of donkeys, camels, and baggage makes a stop at Helipolis. Along their journey the diarist describes the vastness of the desert and the lushness of the oases. He notes encounters with other pilgrims, Bedouins, and guards along the route. They are quarantined in Gaza for seven days in early April where each day the Englishman conveys his observations of the people, landscapes, and living conditions. After leaving the lazaretto in Gaza they journey to Jerusalem where the diarist describes each location in his own vivid experience, recording historical and biblical details, and in some cases his reaction to the places along his pilgrimage. He notes the hills of Judah, the olive groves on the mount, the Eastern Gates and the surrounding landscapes, and the process of the journey. After visiting Bethlehem the group prepares for the return journey and the diary abruptly ends. Laid in the diary is a folded leaf with a list of major sights in Jerusalem and a short description of each. At the end of the volume following several blank leaves is a list of Egyptian terms with definitions. In addition to the diary is a map of Egypt, dated 1841 and a decorative maroon leather document case with a metal clasp.

Sold by Voyager Press Rare Books & Manuscripts (West Vancouver, B.C.), 2013.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Donna Brandolisio
Finding Aid Date
September 2014
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This collection is open for research use.

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Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

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Diary of a trip from Egypt and Jerusalem, 1848.
Volume 1

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