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Help and Related FAQ

If you cannot find the answer to your query in the information listed below, please reach out to one of the library administrators. The “About” section located on the library’s front page includes all contact information.

What types of items are in the collection?

The majority of the collection is made up of digital images, including original color photographs (both born-digital and analog film), digital scans of playbills and brochures, as well as other ephemera. In addition, the collection features a select number of video and audio clips related to literary travel.

How do I use the collection?


If you’re not looking for anything specific, the browsing features may be best. Click “browse collection” in the top-left corner of the library’s home page to view all items in the collection at once, or browse the collection using the revolving photo display, or “suggested topics” links below.


For users who have more of an idea of the items they’d like to see displayed, the site’s basic or advanced search features can be implemented. The basic search bar is highlighted in a light grey ribbon at the top of both the home and collection browse pages. Type in a topic, geographic location, or author and click “search” to see your results. Use quotation marks around entire names or phrases to see results with terms only in that specific order (ex: “William Shakespeare” will retrieve results only connected to the author William Shakespeare, while the same search without quotations will retrieve items connected to any person with names William or Shakespeare.)

Next to the basic search bar is a link to the collection’s advanced search features, which incorporate Boolean search operators (and, or, not) to help users refine their searches even further. AND is used to narrow a search. For example, the Boolean search string “Paris” AND “Eiffel Tower” would retrieve all items in the collection connected to both subjects; no results would appear about Paris but not the Eiffel Tower, or vice versa. OR broadens a search (results would appear for both “Paris” OR “Eiffel Tower”), while NOT excludes words from a search (“Paris” NOT “Eiffel Tower”).

Tags and Comments

We welcome and encourage users of the Literary Travel Digital Library to interact with the collection as much as they wish. To foster this interaction, links for user-added tags or comments have been incorporated into the layout of every individual item page. These links can be seen either at the top of the page below the search bar, or at the bottom of the page underneath the item description. Type the content of your tag or comment in the corresponding text box. Click “Save Tags” or “Post Comment.” The material will be reviewed first by the library’s administrators, and then made visible to other users.

More information on tags: Tags are individual keywords or phrases used to help describe an item so that it can be easily found within a system such as this Literary Travel Digital Library. Allowing users to add their own tags to items means that our library will hopefully become more searchable and user-friendly over time. For example, if a user finds several items he or she believes are related to Jack Kerouac, he or she can create a new “Jack Kerouac” tag for those items. Once the tag has been approved, future users will be able to perform a search using “Jack Kerouac” and retrieve the items tagged with that term.

How can I share items in the collection?

The items in this digital library are intended for non-profit use only. If you’d like to use an item, it is your responsibility to gather the necessary information on its individual copyright terms and contact the owner for permission to use the work, if necessary. Copyright infringement on the part of a user is not the fault of the Literary Travel Digital Library.

If you’d like more information on the basics of copyright law, please consult the Copyright Quick Guide at Columbia University:

Are there any restrictions to using this collection?

Users have several options for sharing collection items. Click the “Download” button on the right-hand side of the individual item page to save a copy of the image, video, or audio file to your device for further use.

This collection also offers AddThis sharing functionality. To share using AddThis, hover over the “Share” button below the search bar then select the social media platform you wish to post the collection page to. Depending on your web browser, you may also be able to click on the Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Print tabs pinned to the left or bottom of your browser window. To view other platforms to share through, click the orange “+” button in the “Share” dropdown menu or sidebar tab.

For a persistent link to the item, click “Reference URL” on the left-hand side of the page, and choose the address that best suits your needs (both linking embedding options will be displayed).

Before sharing any items in the collection, please refer to the section above on restrictions and copyright.

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