About Virtual Grand Tour Museum
hether visiting a church, a palace or a cabaret, tourist habits have not changed for 2,000 years. Our tourists will be climbing the steps of the Cologne Cathedral to view the Rhine, while a Roman tourist would visit the Parthenon in Athens to view the artworks. Our tourist will accept an invitation to visit Windsor Palace for a dinner; while a Roman tourist from the provinces will have an invitation to visit with the Emperor in Rome. Our tourist will be touring the cabarets in Nagasaki; while a Roman tourist would be sampling the pleasures of Capri.
his site is about the travel memorabilia that were brought home from journeys and have survived the vicissitudes of time, whether collected in scrapbooks or surviving as a bookmark stuffed in an old book. Nothing is glamorized: paper ephemera are presented in their true and actual state: from menus with wine stains on them, to brochures marked with child’s crayons to maps folded to fit in a pocket. Then there are treasures of fastidious tourists who bring back pristinely preserved items and carefully mark them — we strive to collect those too. Sometimes information is lost over the years; from exact dates to exact locations, not to mention the occasional sloppy tourist who marked an item with the wrong information.
he tourist is anyone who traveled beyond their home village or perhaps visited a memorable event and brought back some paper item that could be a simple as a Paramount movie ticket or as imperial as a dinner menu from the King of Prussia. It is a teacher, a businessman or woman, a sailor, a tinkerer, or a tailor.
his site is for you, the tourist of the VGTM. Here you can spend days exploring the past. Most items stem from the time between 1820 and 1945, although a few dribble in from beyond that period. Although the collection already encompasses over 20,000 items to view, study and enjoy, there will be thousands and thousands more added over the coming months and years. Countries and cities will be added and expanded, as will steamship lines and railroads, hotels and nightclubs, restaurants and landmarks of architecture.
s you sail the sea of the past, you will absorb the ambiance of the times. The prejudices and practices will not be censored. Stereotypical views of people will be shown as they were. The dancers’ nudity in a Folies Bergère program or a photo of naked Java women will be shown uncensored.
e hope that every visitor, or one should say “tourist”, arriving at the VGTM will have an interesting and enjoyable experience. The academic will note how we strive for accuracy and know that it will be helpful in their research. Everyone is invited to make corrections, so that together we can restore the many lost pages of travel history. You may make donations of travel paper items to help preserve the past.
e do not accept paid advertising or paid links. We do not sell any of the items, nor do we sell any products made with the museum pieces. No pop ups or annoying flash animation will distract our visitors. When we mention a company, it will be an occasional friendly gesture of support for it. This is a museum for you to explore, enjoy and, dare we say, “learn” about the past.