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Grand Tour Project in AHR

AHR cover issue 122

‘Mapping the Grand Tour: British travelers in eighteenth-century Italy and the design of architecture’ (with Giorgio Caviglia, Nicole Coleman, Thea De Armond, Sarah Murray, Molly Taylor-Poleskey) is out in American Historical Review 122:2 (2017) 425-450; online at https://doi.org/10.1093/ahr/122.2.425.

Abstract: "Drawing on a dynamic digital database of eighteenth-century British travelers in Italy, in this article we offer a case study focused on British architects to demonstrate the potential of digital resources for historical research. Based on the entries in John Ingammels’s Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy, 1701–1800 (1997)—which covers the itineraries and lives of more than five thousand travelers—our project adds a new richness and granularity to the understanding of the Grand Tour. We see what these tours were like and what they did for British architects in Italy and beyond. We show the patterns of places visited, of funding, of social and professional gains and interactions, and we thus catch sight of a history of architecture that goes beyond the influence of Italian architectural models on British thought and design. This approach to the Grand Tour reveals the transformation of “architecture” from a gentlemanly passion and artisanal craft into a modern profession and discipline. By indicating some of the ways in which the Grand Tour served this transformation, this case study also suggests the broader promise of our digital approach for scholars of various interests."