In October 1884, Burr began his “Grand Tour” to complete his academic training and to work in European libraries and archives. Over the next three years, he visited Leipzig, Halle, Dresden, and Berlin; Vienna and Salzburg; Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Paestum, Assisi, Perugia, Sienna, Florence, Bologna, Parma, Ravenna, Venice, Padua, Verona, Bergamo, Pavia and Milan; Lausanne, Geneva, Zürich and St. Gallen; Strassburg, Freiburg, Trier, Reims, Paris, Provins, and Troyes; London, Oxford, and Dover; Trier (again), Mainz, Heidelberg, Cologne, and Aachen; Basel and Zürich (again). His correspondence with Andrew Dickson White and his diary are important sources of information about debates within the historical profession over new teaching methods and other topics.

“Here I am at last, settled and at work…. The program of lectures here for the ensuing term is in history exceedingly attractive. Looking over the Universitätskalendar, I find nothing elsewhere — not even in Berlin – to compare with it in the field of modern history, political and social [as well as] the history of art […] [including] the tempting courses of Voigt and Arndt and Wenck in medieval history… It is hard to choose: if only one could hear it all!”

[Georg Voigt (1827-91) was one of the founders of modern research on the Italian Renaissance. Wilhelm Arndt (1838-95) was an historian who participated in the collection of manuscripts for the Monumenta Germaniæ Historica. Karl Robert Wenck (1854-1927) was a distinguished church historian and librarian at Halle.]

First letter from Burr to Andrew D. White, October 10, 1884
Cornell University Library, Division of Rare Books and Manuscripts,
George Lincoln Burr Papers, 14-17-22, box 1, folder 13