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The Geographers’ Gaze project

Geographers have always used technology to bring the world into the classroom to help students appreciate its beauty, to explain processes, to present physical and human features and explore distant locations.

One image format which was used for many years from when the Geographical Association (GA) was founded in 1893 was the lantern slide. These are glass plates containing images which can be projected onto a screen or wall.

The GA 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.

Over the years, the slides sat in their wooden boxes and gathered dust in the warehouse at Fulwood Road and later Solly Street in Sheffield. As part of our 125th anniversary year celebrations and activities in 2018, a handful were digitised and postcard packs were produced, which are available here.

The Geographers’ Gaze project team has selected an initial set of 25 images which they feel would be relevant 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 slide collection was cleaned, organised and indexed to capture as much information as is known about the image and is now available to view on our website.

We hope the new slideshow will help to put the modern curriculum and teaching practices in context as well as creating a fascinating record of the changing nature of the UK and the world over the last century or so.

Find out more about the project and view the Geographers’ Gaze slideshow here.