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Travel & Tourism at the Latin American Library

Information, resources, and tips to navigate research on travel and tourism at Tulane's Latin American Library


The LAL Special Collections are a rich resource for materials related to travel and tourism in Latin America. The Special Collections include Manuscript CollectionsRare Books, Ephemera, Maps, and an Image Archive

The tabs below will allow you to explore materials and collections held in the LAL's Special Collections relevant to research in travel and tourism in Latin America. 

Interested in searching further? Each collection link above contains holdings information and search tools. Search for manuscripts and images in our Special Collections Holdings and rare books in our Library Catalog. Questions? Please write Christine Hernandez (, Curator of Special Collections at LAL. 

LAL Travel & Tourism Collections

The Latin American Library houses a large collection of print ephemera related to travel and tourism in Latin America. The collection includes informational and promotional brochures, guides and maps, posters, and advertising flyers and some materials date back to the late 19th century. Although the searchable archive is currently limited to material on travel and tourism in Mexico, the wider collection contains materials on many countries in Latin America. As the online archive expands, please visit the library in order to explore the print collection further, and check back frequently as new materials are added.

Ephemera and broadsides may be searched via our Special Collections online database using collection title, country, keyword and subject headings. Search results may take you to a collection, or a box or folder within a collection. Box and folder listings can be used to request materials for use in the viewing room of the Latin American Library.

For a complete listing of ephemera collections at the Latin American Library click here

Photograph collections represent a body of work by a particular photographer and are often accompanied by written texts. The Latin American library is home to fifty two photography collections, three of which are showcased below. While these collections may have the most apparent ties to travel and tourism research, a search of photography collections by region or topic may also yield useful results. Some of the images are available in the Library's digital Image Archive

The Image Archive was established in 1976 as the Tulane University Latin American Photographic Archive (TULAPA) following the gift of the Abbye Gorin collection by the artist, and includes work by photographers such as Martin Chambi, Abraham Guillen Melgar, Viki Ospina, and the Peruvian architect Emilio Harth-Terre. 

Since its inception in 1924 with the acquisition of William Gates' extensive collection of Mexicana, the manuscript collection of the Latin American Library has acquired an outstanding collection of early colonial Mexican manuscripts and codex facsimiles, as well as collections and personal papers belonging to scholars, political figures and business leaders of Latin America. Other collections obtained by the Library include materials related to such diverse topics such as Bolivian Communist parties and the death of Che Guevara, Cuban political propaganda, William Walker,  Andean independence, and the correspondence of Joaquin Zavala during his tenure as President of Nicaragua. 

The collections below feature original accounts of travels in Latin America, including personal correspondence and diaries, scrapbooks, field journals and photographs detailing business trips, scholarly expeditions, and tourist excursions mostly undertaken in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  

The manuscript collection is searchable via the Special Collections online database, or the Manuscripts Collections Inventory. Further accounts may be found in the Microfilm collection, searchable via the Microfilm Inventory and viewable in the Latin American Library's office on the fourth floor of Howard Tilton Memorial Library.

The Latin American Library holds a broad range of original photo albums created by travelers visiting Latin America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Below is a sample of albums of photos taken by tourists in Latin America. To search for albums by region or for other kinds of travel, including business and military travel, visit the Tulane Archives. A list of all photo albums can be found here

As part of its Image Archive, the Latin American Library holds a number of postcard collections related to travel and tourism in Latin America. Collections range in date and subject and may be blank or mailed. To search for postcards or collections related to a specific region or subject, visit the Special Collections page.

The collections featured below show the range in region, subject and time period of the postcard collections available in the Latin American Library.

The Latin American Library's Maps Collection contains over 4,000 items including travel maps, railway and road maps, guidebooks and archeological site drawings. The most represented regions are Mexico, Central America, Peru and Brazil. Examples of travel- or tourism-related maps found in the collection include a 2000 map of Bolivia's National Parks, a 1982 map of Belize City, an 1885 map of Mexico City for publication with The Mexican Guide, and a 1958 Pan-American flight map.

Maps may be consulted in the reading room located in the Latin American Library office. Request slips for our map collection are available in the LAL office. Please be prepared with the title of the map, date, and call number.

To search the map collection please use the searchable PDF document, on our website.

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