Guidebooks, travellers' accounts and topographical surveys present varying views of the same place. Guidebooks describe the history and promote the attractions of an area, whilst more objective views are given by the visitors. Topographical surveys usually provide brief, factual descriptions of individual places.
Illustrations of local sites of interest appear in many of these publications.
Contemporary descriptions of the county as a whole can be found in some of the earlier histories e.g. Edward Jeffery Collections for the History of Hampshire (1795), Robert Mudie Hampshire, its Past and Present Condition (1839) and John Duthy Sketches of Hampshire (1839).
Southampton guidebooks date from 1768 and there are examples of nineteenth-century guidebooks to Bournemouth, Lymington, Portsmouth, Winchester and the Isle of Wight. These older guidebooks are shelved in the Rare Books section, more recent publications are on open access.
County guidebooks are shelved at Cope 03-03.5, Southampton guidebooks at Cope SOU 03.5.
You can check which guidebooks are available by searching WebCat.
Access to some collections is resticted to members of the University