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Alexander Henry Wylie diary

Ms. Codex 1796

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Wylie, Alexander Henry, 1810-1869
Alexander Henry Wylie diary
Date [inclusive]:
Call Number:
Ms. Codex 1796
1 volume (+ 2 leaves)
Language Note:
This item is in English with one poem written in Spanish.
Volume containing the travel diary of Alexander Henry Wylie's journies through Europe and Havana, Cuba. The diary spans the years from 1832 to 1833.
Cite as:
Ms. Codex 1796, Alexander Henry Wylie diary, 1832-1833, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Wylie was one of five children born on June 13, 1810, in Middlesex, England to Henry Wylie and Charlotte Lucy Merry. He became a merchant and lived in Scotland. In 1843 Wylie married Elizabeth Crosbie (1820-1906) and they had seven children.

Scope and Contents

This marble, paper covered volume with tie closures and a label with a printed border pasted on the cover contains the travel diary of Alexander Henry Wylie. The diary comprises Wylie's descriptions two journeys. The first trip is a tour through Europe spanning four months from February to June in 1832. The second journey records Wylie's voyage to Havana, Cuba with his brother Macleod from December 1832 to January 1833. Wylie's trip through Europe included Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Belgium. Wylie noted his impressions of the cities he visited, the accommodations, and the people. A significant portion of Wylie's trip--from March to May-- was spent traveling throughout Italy. Wylie spent Easter week at the Vatican and in Rome where he described holy day blessings by the Pope, including Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, and Easter. Detailed descriptions and impressions of visiting museums, seeing works of art, attending operas, and touring ancient sites throughout Italy are included. Wylie specifically mentions his visit to Palazzo Barberini to see Beatrice Cenci and his admiration for the Colosseum. Wylie was also enamored with Florence visiting the museums daily. He wrote of visiting friends and acquaintances while in Italy including Lady Vavasour among others. Wylie noted his 22nd birthday on June 13, 1832 while Düsseldorf. In addition to his tour through Europe, Wylie wrote of his voyage on the Rosehill to Cuba with his brother Macleod. Wylie chiefly wrote of the weather, sea sickness, the seas, passing Caribbean islands, and reading until his arrival in Havana, Cuba on January 31, 1833. Wylie recorded what he read on board the Rosehill almost daily. Works include the Bible, Childe Harold's pilgrimage (which he confesses he stole), and Beauties of Sterne. A large portion of leaves in the middle of the volume are blank. Reading the volume from back to front Wylie lists the cities he has visited, people he visited, information concerning money in other countries, ships traveled on, and the captains. "The Valencian love song" a poem written in Spanish spans four pages at the end of the volume. Two armorial bookplates depicting stags with Wylie's full name are laid in the volume.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  February 2017

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Donna Brandolisio

Access Restrictions

This codex is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Source of Acquisition

Sold by Ian Brabner, Rare Americana (Wilmington, Delaware), 2016.

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Controlled Access Headings

  • Codices (bound manuscripts)
  • Diaries
  • Manuscripts, English--19th century
  • Poems
Geographic Name(s)
  • Europe--Description and travel--19th century
  • Havana (Cuba)--Description and travel--19th century
  • Italy--Description and travel--19th century
  • English diaries--19th century--Specimens
  • English diaries--Male authors--19th century

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Collection Inventory


Alexander Henry Wylie diary, 1832-1833.