Our Project

Welcome to our site!!  This project aims to explore various maps of Cervantes’ 400 year old novel, starting with the first map in the 18th century and extending through today, in order to gain an understanding of how, at various points in time, this fictional novel was viewed as connected to a spatial, political, economic, and cultural “reality.” We examine how Spain claimed the novel as its cultural territory, tying it closely with the places and spaces of regions beyond La Mancha.

Ibarra 1780 fold-out map

Our undergraduate student researchers learned about archival research, digital information gathering, oral interview techniques, and website planning and construction.

First Map of the Route of Don Quixote in the 1780 Real Academia Española edition, held at the University of Virginia Special Collections Library
First Map of the Route of Don Quixote in the 1780 Real Academia Española edition, held at the University of Virginia Special Collections Library

Departing from the first map of the fictional adventuresof Don Quixote published in 1780, we examined the various routes that have been identified with the novel, and visited some of the real places found in the novel the novel and on these maps. While in Spain we visited museums, libraries and personal collections to consult historical texts and other objects that situate the novel’s historical contribution to Spanish society, which we documented on our own google map.

Our “Ruta del Quijote” on Google Maps

We interviewed various professors, collectors, tour guides, and ordinary Spaniards to document the multiple understandings of the importance of the novel in contemporary society from cultural, economic, and personal perspectives. We also gathered photographs and videos of the places, objects, and people associated with Don Quixote. Our traveling research team included Dr. Elizabeth Franklin Lewis as the faculty sponsor,  Stephanie Vega, Marc Gehlsen, and  Heather Taylor, with the additional assistance of Sean Coleman here in Fredericksburg .

Our thanks to the following people and groups for their support and help with this project:

Dean Richard Finkelstein, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Mary Washington

Martha Burtis, Jess Reingold and Lee Skallerup Bessette, Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies, University of Mary Washington

Center for International Education, University of Mary Washington. Professor José Ángel Sainz, director.

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections library, University of Virginia

And the following people who agreed to be interviewed while we were in Spain:

Maestra Isabel Castro, Institut Mar de la Frau, Cambrils, Spain

Doña Isabel Fernández, Casa de la Torre, El Toboso, Spain

Prof. Mónica Bolufer, Universitat de Valencia, Spain

Prof. Cathy Jaffe, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas

Dr. Elisa Martín Valdepeñas, Madrid, Spain

Lic. Cliff Williams (Mary Washington alumnus), Madrid, Spain

Dr. John Stone and Lic. Rosa Roig, University of Barcelona, Spain