Creator: Wellesley College
Title: Wellesley College Lantern Slide Collection
Dates: ca. 1903- Dec. 9, 1978 (last accessioned lantern slide)
Extent: 31/4 x 4 Lantern Slide, Feet ?, Approximately 16,000 Items


The collection consists of 16,000 glass lantern slides of Art and Architecture collected by Wellesley College for the aid in teaching. The original collection is presumed larger than indicated by the accession books. Through time several lantern slides had been de-accessioned and their where abouts unknown. It has been known that the use of Lantern Slides began before 1903. A handwritten list of the slides describes each slide accessioned into the collection. Each slide is physically labeled. The slides were used for lectures in Art History & Architecture.

Language of materials: English

Repository: Wellesley Slide Library Collection

Collection Overview

The Wellesley College Lantern Slide collection is a diverse collection of art, art history, and architecture glass 3 ¼ x 4 slides used in the aid of teaching. The collection began prior to 1903. 1903 is currently the oldest accession book of slides that documents their existence. The lantern slides were actively collected for the teaching of classes at Wellesley College till approximately 1967. After 1967 the format changed to 2 x 2 film positive slides. Glass lantern slides were accessioned into the collection as late as December 1978. The change in technology from glass slide to the 2 x 2 slide caused the lantern slide to go into obsolescence. Although the Lantern Slide Collection has gone into obsolescence the collection has become an artifact of importance. The architectural images capture a period in time that has gone past. The physical representation of buildings through the captured images are a great resource for what buildings have been changed by time and nature.

Scope and Content

The Wellesley College Lantern Slide Collection consists of approximately 16,000 glass slides. The slides contain visual information that is accessible by the use of a light table, or projector. The lantern slide projector has become obsolete, but due to the fact that the image is a positive it can be easily seen by holding up to a lighted source. The visual information portrayed on the glass slides consist of pieces of art and architecture for the aid of teaching art history.
Among the many unique slides found in the collection are Modern Art slides. Wellesley College was progressive in its day of teaching Modern Art before most college Art History departments did so. Thus making the slide collection enriched with a greater representation of art styles through time. The collection contains not only black and white glass slides but also color slides that had been shot by Wellesley Professor John Mc Andrews during summer sojourns.

Subject Headings

Lantern Slides, Architecture, Modern,
Photography, Slide, Positive, Wellesley College


Wellesley College – Art Department
Accession Books for Slides

Accession Book 1
Dates March 16, 1903-March 9, 1918

Accession Book 2
Slides 2,191-6,064
March 13, 1918- March 22, 1929

Accession Book 3
Slides 6,025-11,220
Dates March 23, 1929- January 1937

Accession Book 4
Dates October 1943- January 14, 1953

Accession Book 5
Dates January 15, 1953- February 17, 1961

Accession Book 6
Slides 23,951-42,390
Dates February 17, 1961- February 9, 1967

Accession Book 7
Slides 42,391- 49,900
Dates February 10, 1967- November 12, 1970

Accession Book 8
Slides 49901- 58,350
Dates October 19, 1971- January 7, 1975

Accession Book 9
Slides 65,801- 74,150
Dates January 14, 1975- December 10, 1975

Accession Book 10
Slides 74,151- 78,925
Dates December 10, 1975- October 5, 1976

Accession Book 11
Slides 78,926- 82,700
Dates October 5, 1976- March 30, 1977

Accession Book 12
Slides 82701-86,475
Dates March 30, 1977- January 11, 1978