¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 In the manuscript collections of the Research Library at the Cleveland History Center of the Western Reserve Historical Society can be found MS. 3934 The Randall P. Wade Travel Journals (Vols. I-III) reveal an earnest and avid American traveler. He is a connoisseur and consumer extraordinaire—engaged in learning and teaching his young family about history, beauty, art, culture, and philanthropy. These skills his own son would later hone and use as an adult in his position as a patron and philanthropist of Cleveland’s emerging cultural institutions.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 The Randall P. Wade Travel Journals present an immediate and nearly complete picture of what it was like to be a second-generation, wealthy American traveling in Europe during the great cultural expansion of the United States. The three journals (900 + pages) provide snapshots of daily life for the American traveler; attitudes towards marriage, raising children; health; politics (the Franco-Prussian War, the American Civil War, Italian Independence); religion; scientific discoveries; trade; comparative cultures; and cultural consumption (art, music, theater, and literature).
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 The journals are of significance to scholars in a wide variety of studies, and they provide an important piece of the overall Wade family history—Randall Wade (1835-1876) is the “forgotten Wade” whose influence on his son Jeptha “Homer” Wade II (1857-1926), as well as on the cultural evolution of Cleveland, is generally overlooked because of his early death (in 1876 at the age of 41). Until now his contributions to the family legacy have been largely overlooked. Randall’s father, Jeptha H. Wade (1811-1890) was one of the founders of Western Union.
¶ 7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 In 2009, in support of a museum studies course, I was doing research on American attitudes toward European art museums in the mid-to-late nineteenth century, at the time when America’s first great art museums were coming into existence. At the suggestion of a colleague, John Grabowski, Ph.D., the Krieger Mueller Joint Professor in History, at Case Western Reserve University, I began to transcribe these journals. At the time the volumes were not only considered too fragile for scanning. The Research Library at the Cleveland History Center of the Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) did not have the internal resources to digitize the volumes and preserve the digitized files. For the next three + years, working as an independent scholar, I visited the library/archives of the Western Reserve Historical Society on a weekly basis. My transcription of the journals is found on these pages.
¶ 8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 MS 3934 The Randall Wade Travel Journals (WRHS MS. 3934) are related to a larger group of Wade family materials including MS. 3292 The Jeptha Homer Wade Family Papers Series 1 also found in the WRHS Research Library whose fabulous holdings include 250,000 books, 25,000 newspapers, maps, sheet music, broadsides, 340,000 images, and more than 10,000 linear feet of unpublished manuscript collections. The three volumes of the travel journals include 915 handwritten pages, 565 photographs, and 46 sketches and hand-drawn maps. Taken together these materials describe the experiences of Jeptha Wade’s only son, Randall, and his family, during a 14 month trip to Europe from June 11, 1870 to September 6, 1871. The volumes include descriptions of visits to museums, aquaria, historic homes and estates, botanical gardens, and historical sights.