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Release: Immediate

Summer exhibition begins at University of Iowa Libraries

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The exhibition "Intrepid Travelers: Women on the Road 1850-1950" is now open in the North Exhibition Hall of the Main Library.

A celebration of 19th and 20th century women travelers, the exhibition includes 1940s diaries and photo albums from the Iowa Women's Archives, and a 19th century board game based on a famous 1889 around-the-world trip made by journalist Nellie Bly.

A number of the women who traveled published travel books, wrote letters and kept diaries revealing dedication, zeal and an impressive accumulation of survival skills.

Their reasons for travel were many. Nellie Bly's trip was a publicity stunt sponsored by a newspaper. Isabella Bird Bishop forsook a confining and semi-invalid life in Victorian England and traveled to regain her health. Sarah Bernhardt traveled because she was an actress in great demand.

Confronting the social limitations of their times, the women were exploring the world on their terms. In the second half of the 19th century, Western imperialism had stretched around the globe, bringing with it explorers, missionaries and tourists. Improved means of transportation and other technological developments such as the camera encouraged travel as never before and adventurous women packed their bags.

The exhibition runs through August and is free and open to the public. It was prepared by Kathy Wachel, Rijn Templeton, Kären Mason, Margaret Richardson, Dean Koster and Pamela Spitzmueller. For more information, call the UI Libraries at 319-335-5867.