website of Jelle Verheij, historian

19th Century Travel Reports

The Ottoman Empire was one of the favorite destinations of European travellers in the 19th century, resulting in hundreds of travel reports. Some are merely touristic accounts, but others offer invaluable ethnological, geographical and historical information.


Many of these books are rare and were difficult to find. However, in the last decade a lot have been digitalized and made accessible on the internet in digital libraries like archive.org, openlibrary.org,  hathitrust.org and JSTOR (for works in English), gallica, or persee (for works in French).



What can you find here ?



A Bibliography


In the bibliography you will find a selection of travel reports on the Eastern provinces of the Ottoman Empire* in English, French and German. Click on the title to see information about the author's route, links to online versions and geographical annotations.


The bibliography is alphabetic by author name. In the grey area at the left side you will find the same titles by publication date.



Geographical Annotations


One of the difficulties encountered when reading pre-World War I reports, is the identification of place names. Not only did the authors often use obsolete spelling systems for names, the geographical space they referred changed profoundly Many administrative borders changed, and around 1960 virtually all traditional Kurdish, Armenian, Arabic, Aramaic and other non-Turkish names in Turkey were replaced  by new Turkish names.

To enable the reader to retrace the routes of travellers, for some of the more important travel reports geographical annotations are offered with old and new names and direct internet links to the related pages.

19th century travel reports online

Place name index


In this index you will find all the place names listed in the geographical annotations by province and district, according to the current Turkish administrative units, with direct links to the relevant pages of the travel reports.


*roughly current Eastern Turkey and the northern parts of Syria and Iraq