Travel literature is an increasingly popular research tool for anthropologists, natural scientists, and social historians, as well as an informative and entertaining subject for the armchair traveler. The works displayed here focus on the American travel experience in Egypt, a popular destination for travelers from the time of Herodotus (ca. 420 B.C.). American travel accounts displayed a brashness and a paradoxical tendency to praise Egypt for being a fresh new travel destination while criticizing it for not being enough like home.
This online presentation brings together selected travel account by Americans who visited Egypt in the nineteenth century. Many of the volumes, or their authors, have special associations with the Smithsonian. Additionally, a sampling of guidebooks and handbooks to Egyptian antiquities are presented.