The Travelogues Project couples the practice of making books by hand with rekindling the use of pocket-sized travelogue books as a non-digital means to document sights, food and experiences, and sharing them for others to vicariously enjoy.

Collab Arts Lab will launch The Travelogues Project on Saturday, May 4, from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM at Berkeley Art Center in conjunction with the opening of the Round Table Collaboration Postal Collage Project No.13 exhibition.

Collab Arts Lab is collaborating with St. Rita’s Amazing Bookstore and Textual Apothecary, who will park at Live Oak Park, to create an outdoor Travelogue Making Station where people of all ages can drop-in and make Travelogues. Bookmaking supplies will be provided and typewriters, washi tape, markers, decorative papers and other art supplies will be on hand to uniquely embellish the Travelogues. There is no fee to participate in this activity.

The Travelogues Project involves five distinct parts:

Part 1 – Travelogue Making Stations – Travelogue Making Stations will be set- up where people of all ages can make small 10-page Travelogue Books by hand using contemporary spins on traditional bookbinding techniques. Supplies and instruction will be provided. There is no fee to participate in these activities. Participants will assemble Travelogues, embellish the covers, and leave the inside pages blank. Instructions on how to use the books will be placed in each book. The goal here is to make complementary Travelogue Books for many other people to use to record their travels in.

Part 2 – Distributing Travelogues – For Spring 2024, Collab Arts Lab is partnering with St. Rita’s Amazing Traveling Bookstore and Textual Apothecary to distribute the complementary Travelogues in-person during the Traveling Bookstore’s 2024 West Coast summer tour during stops in Eureka and Arcadia (CA), Port Orford and Portland (OR), and Libby (MT) among other places. For Summer 2024, Travelogue Books will be distributed throughout Sonoma County (CA) and in Cork County (IRELAND).

Part 3 – Using Travelogues – Suggestions placed inside each book describe how the the Travelogue Book can be used/filled (writing, sketching, scrapbooking, etc.) in the spirit of travel diaries as a non-digital means of documenting sights, food and experiences. After the book is full, Traloggers (this is what I’m calling the people who will be filling the Travelogues with their adventures) have a couple of choices: (1) they may choose to keep the Travelogue or (2) they may choose to have their Travelogue included in the digital library and physical archive.

Part 4 – Travelogues Digital Library – While Traloggers are welcome to keep their Travelogue Books, the instructions inside each book encourage them to mail the completed Travelogue Book to Collab Arts Lab so that it (the front and back cover and all pages inside) can be scanned and uploaded to a Travelogues Library sub-menu page within the Collab Arts Lab page on the Berkeley Commonplace website so that others may vicariously enjoy them. The scanned images may also be used in published anthologies, catalogues and social media. (NOTE: There is no deadline for mailing in Travelogues, so some may arrive in a few months, others in a year or two, and others may never arrive as people may choose to keep them.)

Part 5 – Travelogues Physical Archive – After being scanned the physical Travelog Books will be kept in the Collab Arts Lab: Travelogues Archive at Berkeley Commonplace and may be included in future exhibitions, book readings, and interactive events.


Collab Arts Lab projects are intergenerational, providing opportunities and encouragement for people of all ages —from kids to seniors— to cooperate, collaborate and share knowledge; to find and foster commonality and community thru the act of creating art together. Collab Arts Lab is a Berkeley Commonplace program, devised and developed by artist C.K.Itamura.

St. Rita’s Amazing Traveling Bookstore and Textual Apothecary – A decade ago, Rita Collins thought about opening a brick-and-mortar bookstore in the small rural Montana community where she lived. Financially it would be a challenge though with the limited number of customers. Why not open a traveling bookstore, taking it where there would be more customers as well as adventure? So the traveling bookstore was born, and now ten years later this bookstore has set up all over the US at festivals, cafes, brew pubs, museums, universities, farmers markets, public libraries, music stores, elementary schools and art galleries. Forty-one states and many miles, the traveling bookstore is doing it. Which brings up the idea of a textual apothecary, because reading isn’t just for fun but can also be medicinal. Surely you have experienced the perfect book for easing a headache or helping with a cold. So for those of you who appreciate the wonder and therapeutic effects of reading words on a printed page, watch for this bookstore full of unusual used books to visit your neck of the woods.