Books That Link Worlds: Travel Guides, the Development of Transportation Infrastructure, and the Emergence of the Tourism Industry in Imperial Russia, Nineteenth–Early Twentieth Centuries
Russian guidebooks evolved to become more practical and utilitarian at end of the 19th century, several decades later than in Europe. By analyzing an extensive body of Russian travel guides, we explore the network of actors who actively engaged in this transformation. We approach travel guides as complex artifacts that combine social interaction and market logistics, integrating elements from the past and present, from different geographical locations, and from the various professional activities of authors, publishers, and entrepreneurs to inform increasingly diverse consumers. Approaching travel guides collectively as a boundary object helps shed light on the processes of commercialization of travel and emergence of the tourism industry in the Russian Empire, which were set in motion not only by work arrangements of governmental bodies but also, and more significantly, by public and commercial initiatives.