This collection is now available at the new UH Digital Collections site! See Annual Reports from the Hospitality Industry Archives at UHDC.
This collection is comprised of a diverse array of books from the William R. Jenkins Architecture & Art Library’s Rare Books Room. Each one depicts a foreign land in etchings, photography, or sketches. Unlike typical travel literature, these books primarily evoke an exotic, picturesque locale in imagery. Some, like Fontainebleau, le Château: Album Artistique or Besley’s Eighteen Views of Devonshire (stamped Price One Shilling on the cover) are clearly travel souvenirs. Others, like Constantinople and the Scenery of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor, Illustrated, are scholarly works for an audience unlikely to visit the city of their own. The collection also includes an anonymous album of Victorian photographs taken in Edinburgh and inscribed by hand. The collection spans most of the 19th century, beginning with H.W. Williams’ Select Views in Greece, published in 1829.
This collection consists of images taken from an early 20th century promotional pamphlet encouraging Americans to visit Havana, Cuba. The color illustrations depict palaces, beaches, parks, boulevards, harbors, and other tourist attractions. All 23 pages of the booklet are represented, including the colorful front and back covers.
Titled Havana, Cuba: The Summer Land of the World, the booklet itself was published sometime in the years 1921-1939, capturing the allure of the island in the pre-Cuban Revolution era. The introduction page extols the many activities that might entice American travelers to visit Havana – especially to escape the “icy gales” of winter – such as sailing, sun bathing, deep sea fishing, golf, tennis, polo, and dancing. While trumpeting the city as a top tourist destination, the introduction also adds historical and contextual information about Havana’s harbor, architecture, commerce, and culture. Americans are assured that passports are not required and that their “personal liberty is unrestricted.” A full transcription of the page is provided beneath the image.
Highlights of the collection include colorful images of the Country Club of Havana, the Presidential Palace, City Hall, La Fuerza Fortress, the Senate Building, and the Malecon, a broad avenue and esplanade curving along the coast. Other images showcase parks, monuments, a tobacco field, and views of the water as both background scenery and a center of recreation and transportation. Titles of the images are taken directly from the booklet.