May 25, 2007 "The Road to Jerusalem" Is Published
Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Contact: University of Pennsylvania Press contact: Ellen Trachtenberg, (215) 898-6261
The history of travel from the late 15th through 18th centuries is intertwined with stories about pilgrimages to the Holy Land. Beginning with Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of movable- type printing in 1450, a massive body of travel literature emerged that has hitherto been overlooked by modern scholarship. Many works from this body of travel literature are housed in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress. Published by the Library of Congress in association with University of Pennsylvania Press, “The Road to Jerusalem: Pilgrimage and Travel in the Age of Discovery” is a ground-breaking work of scholarship that constructs a historical narrative around the Library’s rich collection of early modern printed books on travel. Author F. Thomas Noonan’s research in this collection sparked this reexamination of an essential component of European history and culture. The text traces the history of early modern pilgrimage to Jerusalem in light of the history of early modern travel in general – travel that was itself renewed and colored by such cultural twists and turns as the Renaissance and the Reformation. F. Thomas Noonan is European history specialist in the Library’s Rare Book and Special Collections Division. He is also the author of “Houghton Library: The Collection and Reading Room” and “The Dark Side of the Enlightenment.” The publication of “The Road to Jerusalem” was made possible by the Verner W. Clapp Publication Fund of the Library of Congress. Established in 1956 to honor Chief Assistant Librarian Verner W. Clapp, the fund supports his desire for more published information about the Library’s almost inexhaustible treasury of materials in American history, art and science. The 352-page hardcover book with 38 black-and-white illustrations is available for $55 in bookstores nationwide and through the Library of Congress Sales Shop, Washington, D.C., 20540-4985, (888) 682-3557, www.loc.gov/shop. The book is also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press, (800) 537-5487 (phone), (410) 516-6998 (fax), www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/14331.html.