|Περίληψη: ||Η παρούσα εργασία εντάσσεται στα προγράμματα του Κέντρου Νεοελληνικών Ερευνών στο πλαίσιο της αναγνώρισης των περιηγητικών κειμένων ως αντικειμένων οργανωμένης έρευνας με την οποία δημιουργείται κατάλληλη υποδομή και εκείνα τα όργανα εργασίας που θα επιτρέψουν τη διερεύνηση και αξιοποίηση του υλικού που προσφέρουν.|
Despite the increasing interest in Grecian travel literature, research has been mainly confined in books already published. Much less attention has been paid to travel manuscripts either published in some way, or unpublished. In fact, our knowledge of the number and the extent of existing travel related manuscripts is totally inadequate. From the limited research and the few publications on this subject so far, it is obvious that there is considerable relevant material in the libraries, public and private, and archives in Europe and in the United States. Thus, if we want to have access to this material, it is necessary for us first to locate it, and subsequently to compile a bibliography, a union catalogue, which will make it accessible both to the general public and the specialist on the subject. This is a difficult and complicated task because, among all the other problems, all research has to be done abroad. It is much better if research was undertaken by teams and not individuals and it was conducted in each country by persons well acquainted both with travel literature and the particular country where the research will take place. The object of the research needs also to be defined. I would suggest that the term travel literature should be considered as covering a variety of nonfiction texts sharing one essential common feature, the fact that they were written as a result of their authors' travels to a country or countries and relate their experience, their researches, their perceptions of the places and the peoples they visited, regardless of the status of the traveller and the official or private undertaking of his travel. Thus, besides travel books, diaries and journals, isolana and portolans, memoirs, reports, and private or official correspondence should be included. The geographical area of particular interest should be that of the former Ottoman Empire, comprising Greece, Turkey, the Danube Principalities, Cyprus, Palestine and Egypt. Manuscripts of the earliest possible date until 1830, date of the establishment of the Greek State, both published and unpublished, autographs as well as copies, should be included. It would be particularly useful, if a parallel research was conducted at the same time, and some information was later offered regarding Greek manuscripts, documents or letters, collected, or received, by the travellers. There is no doubt that research will be difficult and the existing manuscript catalogues do not always help much. In any case, a first hand examination of the manuscripts themselves will be necessary. The bibliography itself will present further problems because of the variety of the material, but solutions can be found. The real problem is finding the necessary funds for such a project, which will be substantial. However, if this project became possible, it would be extremely useful to be supplemented by a microfilm bank of the manuscripts themselves which could be housed either in a Greek Library (the Gennadeion Library seems the most obvious place), or in a Research Institute, so that Greek scholars will be able to have an easy access to them.