My Favorite (Old) Travel Resources
Last month I pointed readers to a potentially great deal on a Logos Bible Software collection of works of early explorers. That offer is still available and accepting bids, but I commented at the time that an even better collection could be created. What are the best resources by 19th-century explorers of Palestine? Below is what I suggest would be a dream collection.
Burckhardt, John Lewis. 1822 Travels in Syria and the Holy Land. London: John Murray.
Clermont-Ganneau, Charles. 1896 Archaeological Researches in Palestine During the Years 1873-1874. 2 vols. London: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund.
Conder, Claude R. 1878 Tent Work in Palestine. 2 vols. London: Richard Bentley & Son.
Conder, Claude R. 1889 Palestine. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company.
Dalman, Gustaf. 1935 Sacred Sites and Ways: Studies in the Topography of the Gospels, trans. Paul P. Levertoff. New York: Macmillan. [This work is more recent than the others but uniquely valuable and out of copyright, I believe.]
Lynch, W. F. 1849 Expedition to the River Jordan and the Dead Sea. Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard.
MacGregor, John. 1870 The Rob Roy on the Jordan, Nile, Red Sea, & Gennesareth, Etc.: A Canoe Cruise in Palestine and Egypt, and the Waters of Damascus, 2nd ed. London: John Murray.
Porter, J. L. 1882 The Giant Cities of Bashan and Syria’s Holy Places. London: T. Nelson and Sons.
Robinson, Edward and Eli Smith. 1841 Biblical Researches in Palestine, Mount Sinai and Arabia Petrea: A Journal of Travels in the Year 1838. 3 vols. Boston: Crocker & Brewster. [This is probably the most important work in this list.]
Robinson, Edward and Eli Smith. 1871 Later Biblical Researches in Palestine, and in the Adjacent Regions: A Journal of Travels in the Year 1852, 2nd ed. Boston: Crocker & Brewster.
Rogers, Mary Eliza. 1867 Domestic Life in Palestine. Cincinnati: Poe & Hitchcock. [Not as well known, but a fascinating read! It has recently been reprinted.]
Smith, George Adam. 1909 The Historical Geography of the Holy Land. 26th ed. New York: A. C. Armstrong and Son. [This is a classic.]
Thomson, William M. 1880 The Land and the Book. Vol. 1: Southern Palestine and Jerusalem. New York: Harper & Brothers.
Thomson, William M. 1882 The Land and the Book. Vol. 2: Central Palestine and Phoenicia. New York: Harper & Brothers.
Thomson, William M. 1885 The Land and the Book. Vol. 3: Lebanon, Damascus, and Beyond Jordan. New York: Harper & Brothers.
Tristram, Henry Baker. 1868 The Natural History of the Bible: Being a Review of the Physical Geography, Geology, and Meteorology of the Holy Land, with a Description of Every Animal and Plant Mentioned in Holy Scripture, 2nd ed. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
1874 The Land of Moab. London: John Murray. [This is in the current Logos offering.]
Twain, Mark. 1869 The Innocents Abroad. Hartford: American Publishing.
Wilson, Charles, ed. 1881 Picturesque Palestine, Sinai and Egypt. 4 vols. London: J. S. Virtue & Co. [This has been published in non-Logos format at LifeintheHolyLand.com.]
I have excluded works specifically on Jerusalem from this list, as those would make up their own collection. Also the size and challenge of digitizing another would surely necessitate a separate collection:
Conder, Claude R. and H. H. Kitchener. 1882 The Survey of Western Palestine, 11 volumes. London: The Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund. [For a list of volumes, see here. A reprint edition now sells for about $4,000. We have produced electronic editions of the maps and index.]
Two final comments: (1) All of the resources listed above were used extensively in the creation of the annotations in the American Colony and Eric Matson Collection. (2) A Logos representative read my previous post and contacted me for this list. I am hopeful that they will catch the vision and bring back these rare and valuable works for our and future generations.