This is one of two large souvenir scrapbooks created by Thomas Man Bridge, of the European adventures he undertook as a young man in the 1830s.
Glued into the albums are pictures of places he visited, maps, tickets, a prescription for medicine, even a giant fold-out paper passport, signed by no less than the Prime Minister himself.
Thomas Man Bridge’s journeys took him by boat across the English Channel, along the River Rhine, then across the Alps (via Switzerland and Austria) to Italy, where he visited, among other places, the great cities of Venice, Florence and Rome.
He also visited the British island of Malta in the Mediterranean and its Grand Harbour, before returning to England through France.
Thomas Man Bridge didn’t travel alone. He was accompanied on at least one trip by his sister, and her travelling companion Miss Bisset. Many of the places they visited are still famous tourist sites today.
This is an official passport issued by the British Government to Thomas Man Bridge, his sister and her travelling companion Miss Bisset for their trip to the Continent in 1839.
It has been officially approved by the Prime Minister of the time Lord Palmerston.
It was issued in London on 4 July 1839 and includes an official stamp to show the party of travellers arrived safely in Boulogne on 11 September.
Today we have handy pocket-sized passports, but Victorian passports were extremely large documents. Look closely and you can see the creases on the paper where it was folded, to make it easier to carry.
This is the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. It began to lean shortly after building work began in the 1100s, because the ground underneath is soft.
It is the bell tower or campanile of Pisa Cathedral.
In the 1600s scientist Galileo Galilei dropped two different size cannon balls from the top to prove their speed of descent was independent of their mass (or to put it more simply, that lighter and heavier objects fall at the same speed).
This painting shows a dramatic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1858. The hand-written note tells us what happened.
Several new craters formed – one river of lava ran into the Atrio di Gauallo – the other into the Fosso della Vetrana – a third branch filled the Fosso Grande, almost entirely enveloping the hill on which stand the Hermitage and Observatory.