Library > Events and Exhibits > An Exhibit: Dreamland

An Exhibit: Dreamland

To the Brochure

 American Travelers to the Holy Land in the 19th Century

​The mid-19th century was a time of great political change and inevitably, modernization. Travel was facilitated by technological advances, particularly the coal-fired steamship and the electric telegraph, the availability of hotel accommodation, as well as the emergence of organized travel agencies. Unique for Americans, in the wake of the Civil War (1861-65), was the possibility of spiritual renewal through travel to the Holy Land, then part of the Ottoman Empire.
 
Shapell Manuscript Foundation
Considerable prominence is given in this exhibition to the great American humorist and writer Mark Twain. Twain’s account of his Holy Land travels
and adventures in The Innocents Abroad (1869) contributed to the inauguration of a new age of travel writing.
 
Other important American visitors featured are the writer Herman Melville and the Civil War generals Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman. They were
all guests at Jerusalem’s Mediterranean Hotel, the main focus of “Guestrooms.” This hostelry was also the intended destination of the Roosevelt family.
 
The hand-written letters and documents on display are taken from the Collections of the Shapell Manuscript Foundation. The books and souvenirs are from the collections of The National Library of Israel.
 
Click here to see the Brochure
 
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