Collection 2017.017 - Lantern Slide Collection

Improved Phantasmagoria Lantern Lampascope Boule Biunial Magic Lantern Cinematograph

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Lantern Slide Collection

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  • Graphic material
  • Object

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Repository

Reference code

2017.017

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • 1820-1950 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

ca. 500 glass slides, 100 photographs and 12 projectors

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Custodial history

Scope and content

This collection consists of early optical devices commonly known as magic lanterns. The first report of the construction of a magic lantern is generally considered to be referring to the Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens in 1659. The lanterns in this collection are dated from the early 1800s until the mid 1900s and include large professional devices as well as consumer models and toy magic lanterns.

The collection also holds over 500 lantern slides on a wide range of subjects. The slides demonstrate different iterations of glass slide projection and the evolution from hand-painted imagery to photographic and mechanical slides.

For more information about the history of magic lantern projection, please see our blog post: https://library.ryerson.ca/asc/2017/10/new-exhibition-projecting-magic/

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Majority of the collection was donated to the Ryerson University Library Archives & Special Collections by John Tysall in 2017.

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