Lantern Slide Collection

Two archival boxes with lantern slides in archival envelopes inside them.Lantern slide collection in archival envelopes and boxes


The Lantern Slide Collection was donated to ARC in early 2017. The slides were given in addition to the purchase of the Prado 500 Slide Projector from the local Ottawa store, Camera Trading Company. Supposedly, the slides were used by a church and shown on Sundays to raise money and were found most likely at a flea market in Stitsville.[1]

The Lantern Slide Collection is made up of 109 slides. Eighty-eight of these slides are glass lantern slides and the other twenty-one are plastic. Most of the slides are in black and white, but forty slides are coloured and have been hand painted. The slides are of the French standard size of 3.25 x 4 inches.


The first step in processing the Lantern Slide Collection was to sort through all the boxes of slides and consider the different types of sets or themes that were there. After sorting through them all, several different sub-topics or sets of the slides were evident, but we were able to create two general categories for the slides: Geographic Locations and Education and Entertainment. Information was gathered by reading the slide’s labels; box information; and the limited inventory pages. Because the subjects of the slides were so varied this stage was very important in processing the material.

The slides were then put into archival envelopes and labelled with identifying information and organized into archival lantern slide boxes, being separated by sets and themes. Then, the slides were scanned and digitized and their catalogue information is now on the ARC website, which can be found in the Lantern Slide Collection.

Five original lantern slide boxes.
Original boxes the lantern slides came in

[1] Marshall, Dominique. “Lantern Slide Projector Info.” Email, 2017.