The Geographical Association has a large collection of around 10,000 lantern slides, formerly part of the collection of resources curated by and named after H J Fleure. They provide an insight into the changing nature of geography during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and highlight a variety of physical and human features across the globe.

Many of the images were created by people associated with the GA on their travels, or were produced to be sold or loaned to schools. The production of the slides and associated teaching materials were part of the early work of the GA and its volunteer officers. The lantern slides were used in classrooms and lecture theatres using a device called an epidiascope.

The Geographers’ Gaze project team has selected an initial set of 25 images which it feels would be of relevance for topics taught in the present day geography curriculum of many schools, or show aspects of our changing landscape which could be unpicked with students. The images all show locations within the British Isles.

Work on the project has been funded by a generous donation from Brian Ellis, the former Honorary Treasurer of the Association. The GA’s collection of lantern slides were not comprehensively catalogued and had gathered dust for many years in the warehouse at Fulwood Road and later Solly Street in Sheffield. There had been an attempt to put them into some sort of order, but the numbering system was unclear and hadn’t been updated for some time.

The slide collection was cleaned, organised and indexed to capture as much information as is known about the image. Some additional information was found with some of the slides, such as notes that James Fairgrieve made for the use of the slides on his travels around the country, lecturing to groups of people.

Once you have viewed the lantern slide gallery we would love to receive your feedback on how you used it any comments or suggestions, please complete the feedback form below.

View the lantern slide gallery here


Project team

Peter Fox – former GA President whose Presidential address was on the theme of images and who chaired the GA’s ICT Special Interest Group for many years.

Alan Parkinson – GA President 2021-22.

Isabel Richardson – GA Events Co-ordinator, who carried out the early work cataloguing and cleaning slides and organising them into a suitable arrangement to enable access. Isabel used her previous experience of working in a museum environment and curating artefacts of this kind.

Robin Butlin -Emeritus Professor, University of Leeds, corresponding member of the team.

Support also came from Alan Kinder – GA Chief Executive and Ricky Buck – Executive Assistant.

Click here to download the full lantern slide gallery resource


Postcards and notecards available for purchase