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A World Made by Travel: The Digital Grand Tour

Stanford University Press

In the eighteenth century, tens of thousands of travelers journeyed to Italy on the Grand Tour. These travels in the age of Enlightenment contributed to a massive reimagining of politics and the arts, of the market for culture, and of ideas about education and leisure. A World Made by Travel combines —in dynamic format— original research with data and visualizations about the lives and journeys of 6,007 travelers. It reveals the diverse experiences, elite and otherwise, that collectively constituted the eighteenth-century Grand Tour.

This digital publication transforms the foundational Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy, 1701–1800 (compiled from the Brinsley Ford Archive by John Ingamells) into an interactive and data-rich interface. It introduces more than a thousand new figures, including hundreds of women, servants, workers, and Italians not previously represented among the Dictionary's primary headings. This digital Grand Tour is more inclusive, and it addresses and invites vital questions about a historical phenomenon that has long been studied with a focus on the most elite and well-known travelers.

A World Made by Travel is framed by introductory chapters explaining its digital approach, contains exemplary essays by leading scholars who worked with its data, and offers resources to help teachers bring this wealth of material into the classroom. By opening up pressing questions of scale and representation through its Explorer, it models how digital approaches involving shareable data can facilitate original research and generate new knowledge about the past.