In the Hands-On History seminar on the 24th of May by Dr. Ludwig M. Vogl-Bienek and Karin Bienek from the University of Trier we were introduced to the history of the magic lantern. After a brief overview during the lecture, we got to experience a live performance of the magic lantern in our Digital History lab. We were also encouraged to experiment with some smaller but original magic lanterns.
The Hands-on History seminar started with an interesting and vivid presentation by Prof. Dr. Ludwig M. Vogl-Bienek. The magic lanterns or Laterna Magica projected images from glass plates onto a larger screen in the 19th century. In this material heritage project, the few surviving lanterns serve as the main source material. Most of the magic lanterns and accompanying glass plates and music or text booklets are now stored in private collections and therefore not always accessible to a larger public.