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World War I war work and leisure lantern slides

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: P025

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of 72 glass lantern slides ranging from circa 1917 to 1918. The slides depict the efforts of various American service organizations to entertain soldiers and sailors, both in the United States and overseas in Europe, during World War I. Organizations include the YMCA, Knights of Columbus, Jewish Welfare Board, American Library Association, and Salvation Army.

All but slide numbers 71 and 72 were produced by the Novelty Slide Company, 209 West 48th Street, New York, New York. These slides are marked with numbers that correspond to those in the listing below. Number 71 was produced by Perfection Slide Company, 79-83 Fifth Avenue, New York. The producer of number 72 is unknown.


  • circa 1917-1918

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Historical Note

"Lantern slides are positive transparent photographs made on glass and viewed with the aid of a “magic lantern,” the predecessor of the slide projector. Lantern slide plates were commercially manufactured by sensitizing a sheet of glass with a silver gelatin emulsion. The plate was then exposed to a negative and processed, resulting in a positive transparent image with exceptional detail and a rich tonal range. Lantern slides were used for home entertainment and public lectures, and they were displayed in photographic exhibitions."

Excerpt from: McCabe, Constance. "Lantern Slides." National Gallery of Art. Accessed May 24, 2021.


0.3 Cubic Feet (3 negatives boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged numerically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Item Listing

1. Sailors watching a boxing match

2. Sailors listening to a gramophone

3. Servicemen getting drinks

4. Supplies carried into YMCA shelter

5. YMCA workers outside shelter

6. YMCA worker wearing gas mask

7. Soldiers passing YMCA shelter

8. Soldiers in a hospital

9. Soldiers gathered around YMCA trucks

10. * Woman helping soldier for YMCA

11. People in a lounge

12. People around a fireplace

13. Soldiers and women

14. * Two women serving food to soldier

15. Child in a bed

16. * Soldiers and women enjoying tea

17. Women preparing sandwiches

18. Women at Bridgeport Industrial Girls War Service Camp

19. Women on a lawn

20. Women and children

21. Soldiers in a library

22. Soldiers in a library

23. Soldiers at the Knights of Columbus building

24. Three Knights of Columbus workers(?)

25. * Eating in the field

26. Soldiers and trucks

27. Two soldiers with Knights of Columbus truck

28. * Three Knights of Columbus workers(?)

29. Gathering of Allied servicemen

30. Military band

31. People outside a building

32. Jewish recreation center

33. Sing along

34. * Boating with Jewish Welfare Board

35. People at an outdoor gathering

36. Concert at Jewish center

37. * Soldiers at the J.B.W.W. Jewish center

38. Soldiers at a banquet

39. Patchogue branch of the Jewish Welfare Board

40. Soldiers at a religious service

41. War Camp Community Service Center

42. War Camp Community Service Center taxi service

43. * Servicemen relaxing

44. Servicemen relaxing

45. Soldiers reading

46. Two sailors reading

47. * Servicemen at a War Camp Community Service Center

48. Army buglers

49. Woman entertaining servicemen

50. Sailors and women at a party

51. * Exterior of ALA('?) Camp Library

52. Soldiers at Camp Library

53. Soldiers at Camp Library

54. Soldiers at a bookmobile

55. Soldiers reading in library

56. Soldiers reading in tent library

57. Men moving bags of books(?)

58. * Wounded soldiers reading

59. Women delivering books to wounded in hospital

60. Man among piles of books

61. Portrait of unknown soldier

62. Helmeted female Salvation Army worker with gas mask

63. Soldiers outside a Salvation Army hut

64. * Woman serving coffee to soldiers in a hut

65. Woman with baked pies

66. Soldiers eating pies

67. War Service truck

68. Women mending uniforms

69. Woman rolling out pie dough

70. * Helmeted woman holding tub of donuts

71. ALA ad for books, includes illustration of a soldier reading to a blinded soldier "Wanted 500,000 books for American soldiers in Germany and France. Take fresh fiction to the public library for shipment overseas in the tonnage of the American Library Association"

72. Ruins of Arras Town Hall (labeled F9)

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed by Susan King during January 2001. Finding aid revised by Lauren Patton on 2015/11/25. EAD finding aid completed by Bethany Fiechter on 2018/05/14. Collection reprocessed and EAD finding aid revised 2021/06/12 by Brittany Kropf.
World War I war work and leisure lantern slides
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.