Magic lanterns were the Victorian equivalent of a modern slideshow presentation. Slides would be hand-painted and lanterns could be high-tech enough to layer and move multiple slides to give the effect of a moving image. Missionaries would use these lanterns, along with slides depicting scenes from the bible, to preach. Here at the David Livingstone Trust, our collection contains lantern used by David Livingstone in Southern Africa, a gift from Mungo Murray who accompanied him on the early journey to Lake Ngami.
What is my money being used for?
You will be helping the David Livingstone Trust to purchase a rare slide showing an occasion of Livingstone using his own lantern to tell the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac. Livingstone wrote an entry in his journal about this occasion due to the reaction his slide received:
"The ladies listened with silent awe; but, when I moved the slide, the uplifted dagger moving towards them, they thought it was to be sheathed in their bodies instead of Isaac's. 'Mother! mother!' all shouted at once, and off they rushed helter-skelter, tumbling pell-mell over each other, and over the little idol-huts and tobacco-bushes: we could not get one of them back again."
We feel this slide would make a great addition to the new museum and our team are very excited about it!
The images below are examples of slides we already have in our collection, similar (though not as rare) to the one we wish to purchase.
Why we need your help
The David Livingstone Trust, as an independent charity, depends on donations and funding from organisations and individuals. We are currently in the middle of the Birthplace Project (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and the Scottish Government). This crowdfunder provides a unique opportunity for the community, local and otherwise, to support the Birthplace Project in acquiring a piece of history.
More about the David Livingstone Birthplace Project
The Birthplace Project will see a complete refurbishment of the museum exhibition, and we will be covering subjects such as the many African people who helped Livingstone and enabled him to achieve what he did - in particular Susi, Chuma and Jacob Wainwright; women's histories including Mary Moffat and other missionary wives; and colonialism, and the role of missionary work in that.
For more information on the Birthplace Project, visit our website. To keep up-to-date with current happenings and behind-the-scenes content, sign up to our newsletter here or follow us on social media:
For any individual or business looking to sponsor the museum on a larger scale please get in touch via email, telephone or by writing to us. Thank you!