Five months of full-time detective work have enabled us to trace the guestbooks of 49 hotels (including 25 in French-speaking Switzerland), 40 mountain huts, 3 hospices, 2 restaurants, and 1 private residence.
We are close to finishing contacting all hotels dating before 1950 in the Cantons of Geneva, Vaud, Neuchâtel, and Valais. Based on this often tedious legwork, one thing has become clear: very few hotels have kept their guestbooks. In most cases the owners no longer know their whereabouts. Either they have been destroyed, or former owners kept the documents, making the search very difficult for us.
At the end of August, our scientific collaborator, Mattia Della Corte, will finish his mandate sponsored by the Faculty of Letters of the University of Neuchâtel. We hope to be able to obtain funds for a second mandate, which will allow us to begin the second phase of the project (digitalization and development of an electronic archive).
Moreover, the Swiss Guestbook Project will organize a study day on guestbooks at the University of Neuchâtel on Friday 4 September 2015, to which all interested researchers and members of the public are invited. Professors Kevin James of the University of Guelph, Canada and Roger Eaton of the University of Amsterdam will be our guest speakers. More information on the study day will be posted soon.