Archival tourist guides are a wonderful source of knowledge not only about certain city or region history, but also totally different travel culture and touristics than today. Because of the limited scope of media, at the beginning of 20th century, tourists could have rather distinct expectations from publications of this type – for example it was impossible to check in online train timetable if there was a connection between chosen cities, and what is more – at which hour the train leaves. That is why part of information available in presented objects can be quite surprising for a modern reader, but on the other hand they let us appreciate the indistinguishable and obvious comfort of our times. In Polish digital repositories we can find as well local as foriegn and wider-in-range guides.
At the beginning we would like to present foreign guides, including the most extensive one – Europe tour guide from 1909, shared by the e-library of the Warsaw University, containing detailed description of almost all regions of Europe and many tourist routes. In the Digital Library of Elbląg we can look at the guide for the Holy Ground from 1934 in the historical and geographical conceptualization, including communication indications, descriptions of the most interesting places to visit, photos, a map, an index and an addition with psalms and prayers. An interesting publication about the region, which currently does not belong to Poland anymore, we can find in the Podlaska Digital Library – it is a beautifully published and amazingly illustrated with photographs guide through Druskienniki and neighbourhood from 1935, so the area of today’s Lithuania – quite unpopular region of Poland then – known mainly from springs for patients. More about the eastern European countries can be found for example in the Kujawsko-Pomorska Digital Library – Wilno tourist guide, its monuments and beauty from 1939, and in the National Digital Library POLONA – here we can look at the amazing, illustrated and containing many useful ethnographic information guide through Jugoslawja from 1935. This last one shared also some more local touristic pamflets, for example Grudziądz guide from 1937, illustrated with monuments and interesting places photographs (we can get to know about existence of the Embellishment of the City of Grudziądz Society, funtioning on the breakthrough of 19th and 20th century) or the tourist informant about Poznań from 1939. Among typically Polish guides it is worth to mention the guide through the Polish coast from 1926 available in the Bałtycka Digital Library (interesting and useful descriptions of many smaller cities and villages by the sea) and an illustrated, decorative guide of Zakopane and its neighbourhood, describing mountain trails, containing good quality maps and photographs. In the end, some publications from the Digital Library of Silesia – copies of the magazine Travellers touristic guide published by the Polish Travels Agency Orbis, including some unusual tidbits – how to travel cheaply, information about travel insurance, railway, air, sea and bus communication in Poland.