Plan your Visit
The McCord Museum
The Museum Team
Lanterns Illuminate the Virtual Museum
November 1, 2000 — The McCord Museum has recently added a
rare collection of 1,250 Magic Lantern slides to the database of
more than 24,000 images on its web site. By exhibiting this
significant archive of historic documentation in a uniquely
interactive digital setting, the McCord gives visitors an
exciting glimpse of how technology can help us explore and
understand the discipline of history.
Lantern slides are believed to have originated in ancient Egypt.
Allegedly used in sorcery and black magic, this simple medium of
visual projection developed into a powerful educational tool and
was used by McGill University for a popular travelling public
lecture series in the early 20th century. The McCord's web site
allows visitors to experience virtual reconstructions of two of
these historic McGill lectures, "Across Canada by
CPR," and "The St. Lawrence Seaway."
images in the Magic Lantern collection may also be viewed in
thematic groups, or in specially designed 'circuits' designed by
historians and other specialists. These virtual guided tours,
composed of images and accompanying commentary, will play an
important role in the McCord's Laurier Project, an educational
initiative that integrates web-based resources into the history
curriculum in primary and secondary schools. "We are hoping
that as students explore these circuits, and assemble their own
thematic tours of the collection, they will learn something of
how history is created," said Dr. Nicole Vallières,
Director of Collection and Information Management at the McCord
McCord's completely renovated web site also allows visitors to
research and request photographic reproductions directly from
the Notman Photographic Archives, and to create and instantly
send elegant e-mail postcards from images anywhere on the site.
"We are building a virtual museum," explains Dr.
Victoria Dickenson, Executive Director of the McCord. "When
virtual visitors were included in the count, our overall
attendance for last year doubled."
McCord's web site continues to offer access to a multitude of
other services, including group reservations, gallery rental,
McCord membership, School Programs, Community Events, and a wide
variety of search criteria for exploration of the McCord's
project has been completed thanks to financial support from the
Museums Assistance Program of Canadian Heritage, and from the
government of Canada through the National Archives of Canada and
the Canadian Council of Archives. The McCord also wishes to
thank Sygraf and Aptilon (formerly Media
Renaissance) for their generous contributions to the
McCord's new web site.
the McCord Museum's new web site at:
David Rollins (514) 398-7100, ext. 229
The McCord wishes to acknowledge the support of the Heritage Canada Museums Assistance Program, the Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications and the Arts Council of the Montreal Urban Community.