Among John Murray's most numerous and popular works were travel accounts.
These were captivating tales of intrepid explorers and travellers who journeyed through exotic and distant lands encountering new peoples and cultures, and enduring hardships and danger.
The John Murray Archive preserves these travellers' papers. Their letters from abroad, passports, photographs, journals and manuscripts capture the timeless excitement, wonder and dangers of travel.
Murray authors included explorers whose heroic adventures inspired generations – like the African missionary David Livingstone or Sir John Franklin, who lost his life in the harsh and brutal conditions of the Arctic.
Some — such as adventurous Isabella Bird — travelled just for the joy and experience of new landscapes and cultures.
Others were fascinated by ancient civilisations. The archaeologist Sir Austen Henry Layard, for instance, rediscovered lost societies and cultures during his Middle Eastern excavations.