In 2015 I went to Paris. Before leaving for my trip I did detailed information pages for the cathedrals I planned to visit. These had floor plans, diagrams of the west facades with labelled sculptures, interesting features to see inside, and short historical sketches.
My idea was to better know the site and the sculpture, stained glass, and frescos at each site to look for. I hate coming back from a trip and realizing I missed seeing something important.
Over the years I’ve gotten better with the technology (I do these in Inkscape) and started doing new pages for a trip planned in 2020. That trip’s been postponed, which means I’ve had more time than expected to make these information sheets. And the longer it’s been postponed, the more sites I’ve learned about and want to visit, and the more sites I've done.
I now have about 60 sites/cities completed with more in the works (though I've not been making as many so far this year). The earlier ones are for specific buildings only, generally 1 side for the inside, and 1 side for the outside. More recently I’ve started adding detailed notes for less important (to me) sites and information to help with the trip I’ve planned (so, with added maps, floor plans of museums, city history, city crests/flags etc).
Also, there are some blanks and question marks where I’d planned to fill in information after visiting the sites. Items where there are no good images or complete information online and I’d hoped to learn who the figures are when I visited in person. For example, the dome of the Padova baptistry has scenes of Genesis. I don’t know where the scenes are exactly because I haven’t been able to find detailed enough photos. I hoped to take my own. In the meantime, that section of my diagram simply has ‘Genesis stories’ and ’fill in’. So I’d need to make it clear where information is missing and have version number so people know if a page has been updated. In fact, I would love it if someone had good photos of those areas or knew the placements could share that with me.
I made these for myself, but as someone who has spent hours pouring over photos online to see what sculpture is in this corner and what painting is on that wall, I understand the pages I’ve done have usefulness outside of myself. I would love to share these with a wider audience and introduce people to the sources I’ve used (there are some incredible resources online) and hopefully save you the time & effort I’ve spent. ‘Why reinvent the wheel?’ as my father used to say.
I’m ok with sharing the pages as they currently are with a small audience, but if I share them with a wider audience there are changes I would have to make. For one, I’ve used copyrighted images that I would have to remove. Second, I’d want to look over the notes, make sure there are no spelling errors or contractions that others might not be able to parse. I would also make sure that all my sources are listed.
I tried posting the pdfs to my blog in the past but blogger won’t allow the format. I just discovered that google docs does. I’m willing to post my pages to google docs and make them freely available. (If someone knows a better free site, I'm all ears.) I could post 1/week or so until they’re all up. I have a few questions for those interested first though. For people who haven’t seen the pages, I’m including my pages for Padova/Padua below so you can give feedback.
Since I would have to edit these for 'publication' anyway…
1) Would you prefer one monument per page? For example, I have St Anthony’s Church on the same page as the Padova Bapitstry. It’s kind of confusing with small font. Some pages have even more monuments. I could separate the monuments and do 1 or 2 per page.
2) Do you like the maps? My thought was to use the pages in situ. But if I take the maps out there would be more room for information at a larger font.
3) Any other suggestions?
I’m sure I’m forgetting to mention something here so this may get updated.
ETA -> After some consideration I've decided that google docs is a bad choice as it requires people to have a link in order to find the pages, and there's a limit to how much I can upload before I need to start deleting pages. So I've decided to post the pages to Archive.org. I'll post more when the first page is up this Friday.