The Magic Lantern Society (based in UK) has over 300 members worldwide.

The Society publishes an occasional Journal, (New Magic Lantern Journal), and a regular quarterly Newsletter & now has a Web Site

All-day meetings are held quarterly in Midlands, London and West; attendance around 75 members. All meetings include lectures and live magic lantern shows with original Victorian slides and equipment!

Occasional visits take place to other European countries (e.g Turin, June 96, approx 50 members). An international 3-Day Convention and exhibition is held every three or four years. The last was in London in April 1997,click here to visit the convention web page. The next will be 2001, the 25th birthday of the MLS

Books published by the Magic Lantern Society include:

Servants of Light - The book of the lantern. Ed. Dennis Crompton, Richard Franklin, Stephen Herbert, MLS 1997. 96 pages. Some colour illustrations.

'The Lantern Image - Iconography of the Magic Lantern 1420-1880' by David Robinson, MLS 1993. 300 illustrations some colour; original engravings (mainly before 1880) showing the lantern and its use. ISBN 0 9510441 2 5

'Magic Images - the Art of Hand-Painted and Photographic Lantern Slides' Ed. Dennis Crompton, David Henry, Stephen Herbert, MLS 1990. Includes an invaluable piece by John Barnes outlining the many different types of mechanical slide, and suggesting how to catalogue and document them. Also includes a transcript of 1840s lanternist's manuscript notebook, giving full 'patter' of a show of the period. Many colour illustrations. ISBN 0 9510441 1 7

'Dates and Sources - a contribution to the history of projection and to cinematography' by Franz Paul Liesegang, trans. & Ed. Hermann Hecht, MLS 1986. This updating of a classic German history booklet includes numerous added illustrations. It includes much on pre-cinema optical devices and early film devices, as well as the magic lantern. ISBN 0 9510441 0 9

Many other books from many European sources are available from the MLS. Contact:

John Finney, 61 Desford Rd, Newbold Verdon, Leicester LE9 9LG England
Telephone: 01455 823952/822486
Fax: 01455 828898


For details of how to join the Society, write to:

L.M.H.Smith (Hon Sec) Magic Lantern Society, South Park, Galphay Road, Kirkby Malzeard, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 3RX, UK.

P.S. There is also a Magic Lantern Society of the U.S. & Canada.

 Back to Main page