The Alert Collector: Dark Tourism: A Guide to Resources

Rebecca Price


When I began receiving topic ideas for the Alert Collector column in 2016, Rebecca Price’s submission for a column on “dark tourism” caught my attention, mostly because of its novelty. I had a sense of what the topic entailed, and it turns out to be even more fascinating than I suspected. Why do some people like to visit the sites of tragedies? What is the attraction of ghost tours? Why are memorials popular destinations for tourists? This relatively new field of dark tourism crosses into many different disciplines, as you will see in the column that follows. While not all librarians may be rushing to create collections around this topic, the items may fill other collection needs in sociology, anthropology, and other areas. Price is an adjunct research and instruction librarian at Duquesne University and a doctoral candidate in social and comparative analysis at the University of Pittsburgh. As a member of a University of Pittsburgh research team studying children’s experiences at dark sites, Price has published several peer-reviewed articles about dark tourism.—Editor

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Dallen J. Timothy and Stephen W. Boyd, “Heritage Tourism in the 21st Century: Valued Traditions and New Perspectives,” Journal of Heritage Tourism 1, no. 1 (2006): 7.

Philip R. Stone, “A Dark Tourism Spectrum: Towards a Typology of Death and Macabre Related Tourist Sites, Attractions and Exhibitions,” Tourism: An Interdisciplinary International Journal 54, no. 2 (2006): 146.

Malcolm Foley and J. John Lennon, “Editorial: Heart of Darkness,” International Journal of Heritage Studies 2, no. 4 (1996): 195.

Jessica Suerth, “Residents Heartbroken that People are Taking Selfies at the Site of the Deadly London Fire,”, June 19, 2017, accessed July 18, 2017,

Rebecca H. Price and Mary Margaret Kerr, “Child’s Play at War Memorials: Insights from a Social Media Debate,” Journal of Heritage Tourism (2017),

Duncan Light, “Progress in Dark Tourism and Thanatourism Research: An Uneasy Relationship with Heritage Tourism,” Tourism Management 61 (2017): 277.

Alan Blinder, “What to Do With the Tributes After the Shooting Stops,” New York Times, July 7, 2017,

Philip R. Stone, “Dark Tourism Scholarship: A Critical Review,” International Journal of Culture, Tourism, and Hospitality Research 7, no. 3 (2013): 315.



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