European travellers have come to Wales for numerous reasons: from those seeking a romantic idyll, to industrial spies in the Victorian era and refugees from Nazi Germany. Using individual travellers as case studies this three-year project uncovers representations outside of English travel writing. The project also broadens the definition of travellers to Wales. Aside from traditional travellers who came for purposes of leisure, scholarship or commerce, the project also includes writing by European exiles and refugees in Wales.
Funded by the AHRC, ‘European Travellers to Wales’ is a collaboration between Bangor University, the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies in Aberystwyth and Swansea University.
The project runs a lively blog (http://etw-teg.tumblr.com) on which it shares stories by travellers from continental Europe about their travels in Wales. Furthermore, an interactive database with over 250 entries provides summaries about travel accounts by continental European travelling around Wales since the mid-eighteenth century (http://etw.bangor.ac.uk). This database also maps the travel destinations of each of the authors and provides links to digitized copies of many of the original accounts that are freely available on the internet.
As part of the project, the free touring exhibition with the title ‘EuroVisions / EwrOlwg’ will display artwork by continental Europeans who have produced a great variety of images of Wales from the late eighteenth century onwards. The exhibition opens at Ceredigion Museum, Aberystwyth, on 11 July 2015 and runs until 27 September 2015 before heading to Swansea Museum (30 October 2015 – 25 January 2016) and Gwynedd Museum, Bangor (projected dates: 6 April 2016 – 2 July 2016).
Project website and database: http://etw.bangor.ac.uk/