LUCERNA is an online resource on the magic lantern, an early slide projector invented in the 17th century.

For more than 350 years the magic lantern has represented and fed into every aspect of human life and every part of the world. It is still used today, both in its original form and through direct descendants like the modern data projector.

LUCERNA includes details of slide sets, slide images, readings and other texts related to slide sets, lantern hardware, people and organisations involved in lantern history, and much more.

Search the LUCERNA database

The Lucerna project is a collaboration between lantern researchers from:

  • Screen1900, Media Studies, Universität Trier, Germany
  • Screen Archive South East, University of Brighton, U.K.
  • The Magic Lantern Society, U.K.
  • Indiana University, U.S.A.
  • Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Sources used in compiling the LUCERNA data

The project is still at an early stage, so you may not find everything you're looking for – if you have a specific query or can contribute something, please contact us, we’d love to hear from you.


Access to the Lucerna data

Anyone can search and read the data in the Lucerna database.

If you want to add or edit data you need to log in with your Lucerna username and password.

If you don’t have a Lucerna username and would like to contribute to the project please contact us.

Slide showing bust of Charles Dickens
Slide showing bust of Charles Dickens

Slide showing River Ganges, India
Slide showing River Ganges, India