On Thursday October 12, 3:30 – 5 PM, in the SCRC Seminar Room, 2400 Fenwick Library, the University Libraries will hold an opening reception for the new exhibition: Slideshow: An Image, A Light, A Lens, and An Audience.
The Special Collections Research Center will open the exhibition Slideshow: An Image, A Light, A Lens, and An Audience documenting both images from the SCRC collections and the technology used to show these images over the past 100+ years. Bob Vay, University Archivist and exhibition curator, will give a short talk and an in-depth tour of the cases in the exhibition.
Refreshments will be provided.
Humans have been presenting slideshows since the mid-1600s!
A magic lantern slide show in France from the 18th century.
Beginning in the 17th century, projectionists using projectors called “Magic Lanterns” used candle light, a small image painted on glass called a slide, and a lens to show images of people, animals, and sometimes ghoulish figures on a wall to an audience. Advances in photography in the mid-19th century brought lifelike photographic images to lantern slides. By the 1930s, Kodak had created the 35 mm Kodachrome slide. Smaller, lighter, less fragile, and more portable than a glass lantern slide, the Kodachome and its imitators soon became the industry standard for slideshow presentations. The development of the Kodak Carousel projector brought professional slideshows within reach of any individual. At this same time, the overhead projector, the larger, heavier cousin to the Carousel, was a fixture in classrooms, military bases, and company boardrooms. Slideshows today are mostly accomplished using a laptop computer, an LCD projector, and a software app, such as PowerPoint. The screenfuls of information are still called “slides”.
Lantern slide of an Austrian Alpine road, 1933 from the Christine Drennon European lantern slide collection, #C0068
35 mm Kodachrome of the Royal Mausoleum, Bagdad, Iraq, November 1953 from the Edith McChesney Ker papers, #C0077
For the past three centuries, the basic tools of still image projection have been virtually unchanged. The concept is simple and comprises three basic components: a medium containing an image, some sort of projector containing a bright lamp and lens for illuminating, enlarging, and focusing the image, and a screen or wall on which to project it. Add an audience, and you have all the ingredients for a slideshow.
A page from the “Bausch and Lomb Optical Company: Projection Apparatus” catalog, 1911. It describes a popular lantern slide projector of that era. Courtesy of Hathi Trust.
This exhibition examines the history of the slideshow, beginning with the earliest forms of slide projection, from the magic lantern to today’s LCD projector, while featuring images from many of the Special Collections Research Center’s photographic collections.
Slideshow: An Image, a Light, a Lens and an Audience Exhibit Opening
Thursday October 12, 3:30 – 5 PM, SCRC Seminar Room, 2400 Fenwick Library
Featured Speakers: Bob Vay, University Archivist
The Special Collections Research Center will open the exhibition Slideshow: An Image, A Light, a Lens, and an Audience documenting both images from the SCRC collections and the technology used to show these images over the past 100+ years. Bob Vay, University Archivist and exhibition curator, will give a short talk and an in-depth tour of the cases in the exhibition.
Follow SCRC on Social Media and look out for future posts on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. To search the collections held at Special Collections Research Center, go to our website and browse the finding aids by subject or title. You may also e-mail us at email@example.com or call 703-993-2220 if you would like to schedule an appointment, request materials, or if you have questions.