Monday 1 December 2014

Lantern slide show of Boer War and Great Wars images

The Representative Church Body Library’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War continues with the online presentation of lantern slides relating to “The Great European War” and related items from the earlier Boer War. These originated (before their transfer to the RCB Library) in St Patrick’s Cathedral Deanery, Dublin, where they may have been used to inform contemporary audiences about these conflicts.

The “Great European War” and related Boer War slides collectively form part of a bigger collection of lantern slides that were transferred from the Deanery into the library during the past 18 months.
They reveal the important role that the church and church personnel played in disseminating visual materials in times past when photography was a relatively privileged and rare occupation. Since its acquisition by the library it has been arranged, catalogued and listed into five main groups, of which the War images are one component.

The online slide show speculates how such a collection might have ended up at St Patrick’s and demonstrates how they were used as contemporary educative tools to inform people what was going on in an otherwise limited visual era. In church halls, churches and cathedrals, audiences would gather to be brought up to date with on the realities of warfare, and specifically the progress of the Allied advance on mainland Europe between 1914 and 1918 and related events.

View the lantern slide show here. .

(November's Archive of the Month – the Church of Ireland’s short commemorative film about the Great War and ten letter writers from the trenches, The Boys From East Belfast, continues at this permanent link.)