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Travel and Exploration

Special Collections has a number of materials related to travel and exploration.  The three largest holdings consist of around 400 travelogues and other published accounts of travel throughout Europe, approximately 100 of which focus on travel within Great Britain; around 150 titles related to travel in North and South America, including emigrants’ guides, sea expeditions, and published accounts of western expansion; and a collection of maps and atlases dating from the 16th century to the present.

How to Use the Collection

The collection is available to all users in the Special Collections Reading Room (room 401) during regular hours.  Materials do not circulate. Rare books may be used in the Special Collections Reading Room during service hours or by appointment.

With a few exceptions, the collection can be accessed through the MERLIN library catalog.  Advice on using MERLIN to search Special Collections can be found here.

Finding Aids for Travel and Exploration

Gary E. and Janet J. Venable Antiquarian Atlas & Map Collection


The Venable Collection documents the history of cartography, geography, and exploration from the sixteenth through the early twentieth century.…

John G. Neihardt Collection


Biographical Sketch John Gneisenau Neihardt (1881-1973) accepted a position at the University of Missouri-Columbia's Department of English in 1949…

Martin and Margaret Hiller Collection of Audiovisual Materials on China, 1945-1948


Biographical Sketch Martin Hiller was a captain in the Army Air Corps, the predecessor to the Air Force, and later retired as an Air…

Poster Collection


Scope and Contents The collection consists of posters from both World War I and World War II with a few tourist and other miscellaneous posters from…

Rare Book Collection


The Rare Book Collection is the default designation for materials in Special Collections that are acquired as individual items. Like Special…

William Least Heat-Moon Papers

Scope and Contents Material by Wililam Least Heat-Moon (b. 1939). Manuscripts and additional materials from the following books: PrairyErth (A…

Related Exhibits

Commercial Art: Travel Posters in Special Collections


This exhibit focuses on nine European travel posters from Spain, France, Italy, Britain, Germany, and Norway. In a century of...

Hiller Collection


The Hiller Collection documents cities, industries, farming, and everyday life in China during the second phase of the Chinese Civil...

Leaders and Heroes

Henson Portrait Bust.jpg

Every age, every race, has its leaders and heroes. ~ Ohíye S’a (Charles A. Eastman) Libraries tend to hold those materials that...

Places in the World: Treasures from the Venable Collection


Maps tell us where we are. The most obvious way they do this is geographical, but there is also a...

The Art of Cartography: Cartes-à-figures


Cartography is the art and science of map-making. During the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Cartography was experiencing a peak of...

Selected Items

La Floride : suivant les nouvelles observations de Messrs. de l'Academie royale des sciences, etc.


Covers part of Mexico, New Mexico, Texas, and Florida as far North as Illinois and Philadelphia, includes also the Carolinas, Virgina and Maryland

Map Illustrating the Plan of the Defences of the Western and North Western Frontier, as Proposed by Charles Gratiot in his report of Oct. 31, 1837.


Shows the lands of the Omaha, Pawnee, Shawnee, Delaware, Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw and other Native American tribes west of Missouri, Arkansas and…

Hiller 09-072: Ancient Chinese astronomical instrument in Nanking


Photograph of an ancient Chinese astronomical instrument in Nanking.

Digitized from glass slide. Quality of original is good. Scan: Creo iQsmart3.…

Hiller 09-005 : The statue of Sun Yat-sen in Nanking


Photograph of the rusty and bronze statue of Sun Yat-sen in the center of Nanjing. There is a book store and lots of rickshaws around the road.…

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