Lantern slides originated in the 17th Century and were originally hand pained images which were placed into a primitive wooden projection box and viewed in succession in order to narrate a story. They were a very early form of cinema which by the mid-1800s, with the advent of photography, had evolved to the stage where real-life scenes could be reproduced on glass and displayed.
These could be hand-tinted for added realism and the resulting slide show would have been an immersive experience using what was then cutting-edge technology in an era when newspapers contained only text, and books were a luxury few could afford.
In Local Studies we have a historic collection of photographs of the Holy Land dating from 1908 and these were shown in Clondalkin Carnegie Library on the occasion of its opening in 1911. The names of the locations are a roll-call of famous Biblical locations.
Taken in 1908, these images show the people and views of the Holy Land appearing virtually unchanged in 2,000 years. It is not too hard to imagine the Holy Family wandering these streets in search of accommodation.
Other slides include views of locations associated with Easter including the Garden of Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives which we will return to at a later date.
One view in particular is particularly poignant – the very first photograph of the ancient Monumental Arch of Palmyra which was built in the 3rd Century and is seen here in its original form before it was restored in the 1930s. It was destroyed by Islamist Militants in October 2015.
Click HERE to see the entire collection.