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Search for an event

The Lucerna database includes records for many types of event, for example:

  • details of lantern events (lectures, shows, exhibitions etc.) known to have taken place at a given time and location
  • historical events (royal and ceremonial events, wars, accidents and disasters etc.) shown in slide images
  • historical events (as above) referred to or described in slide sets or related texts

Hints for successful searching

  • Lucerna contains records for a wide range of different event types, and some searches may find thousands of records. We suggest you familiarise yourself with how the search criteria work and plan your search before you start.
  • The best results may be found using a combination of criteria – for example, events of a particular type in a given location or time period, events involving a specific known person, and so on.
  • If your search returns no results, check your search criteria – you may have mis-typed something or chosen an impossible combination.
  • For information about how to use the criteria click the adjacent  Example of button offering online help  button.
Enter your search criteria below and click one of the ‘Search’ buttons
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Search by part of event title

This criterion will find all events whose name contains a given group of characters.

Type the text you want to find into the box. If you don’t want to apply this criterion, leave the box empty.

This search is probably most useful to find a specific event whose title you already know.

It may also be useful for finding events with particular generic titles (for example, ‘volcanic eruption’ or ‘lantern lecture’), but successful use may depend on familiarity with how events have been recorded in Lucerna, and it may be best used in conjunction with other search criteria.

Notes:

  • The search will find exactly the group of characters you enter, including any spaces or punctuation marks, and searches the event title as recorded.
  • If the event had a contemporary title (for example, an advertised public lecture or exhibition), that has probably been recorded as the event title in Lucerna. In other cases, a descriptive title may have been allocated by a researcher (for example, ‘Earthquake at San Francisco’ or ‘Magic lantern lecture’).
  • Keep your search text as short as you can – as you enter more, your search becomes more specific and you are less likely to find results.
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Search by date of event

This criterion will find events known to have taken place in a specific year (or range of years).

Choose one or more years from the drop-down lists as appropriate. If you don’t want to apply this criterion, leave both boxes showing ‘any date’.

This search can be useful for getting a representative sample of events from a given period, but the results should not be taken as a complete record of everything from the year(s) you enter, as only a small sample of events have so far been entered in Lucerna.

Notes:

  • The years in the drop-down lists are just those for which events have been recorded, not a complete list of all possible years.
  • To find events in a specific year, choose the same year from both drop-down lists.
  • To find events in or after a specific year, choose a year from the first drop-down list but leave the second box showing ‘any date’.
  • To find events in or before a specific year, leave the first box showing ‘any date’ but choose a year from the second drop-down list.
  • To find events at any time in a range of years, choose different years from both drop-down lists.
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between (inclusive)
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Search by type of event

This criterion will find events of a chosen type.

Choose an item from the drop-down list. If you don’t want to apply this criterion, leave the box showing ‘any type’.

To simplify the process of cataloguing and searching, the ‘types’ of event are quite general. This means that some of them (for example ‘lantern lecture’) may find thousands of results, so this criterion may give best results when used in conjunction with other search criteria.

The types of event as they appear in the drop-down list fall into three broad categories:

  • World events which were represented using lanterns and slides – for example accidents and disasters (shipwrecks, volcanic eruptions, etc.), expeditions, royal or state occasions and wars or other conflicts.
  • Performances and similar events at which lanterns and slides (and some related technologies) were used – for example educational lectures, entertainments and religious services.
  • Events where lanterns and slides were displayed or discussed – for example conferences, exhibitions and meetings of clubs or societies.
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Search by event location

This criterion will find events which took place in a chosen location.

Choose an item from the drop-down list. If you don’t want to apply these criteria, leave all the boxes showing ‘any ....’.

This criterion can be useful for getting a representative sample of events from a given location, but the results should not be taken as a complete record of everything from the location you enter – only a small sample of events have so far been entered in Lucerna.

Locations can be searched in four different ways, represented by the four drop-down lists. Values you choose from the location lists are searched all together (a logical ‘and’ search), not separately (an ‘or’) search – for best results you should choose an item from only one location list at a time, though possibly in conjunction with other criteria.

Notes:

  • The drop-down lists only show those locations already recorded as having associated events, arranged alphabetically by the location name.
  • In most cases, locations are listed with their modern names in the language of the area in which they are located – for example ‘Köln’ rather than ‘Cologne’. We are working on a system to allow searching for a location under alternative names, including names in different languages and from different historical periods.
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Event location
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Search by person associated with an event

This criterion will find all events recorded as being associated with a specific person.

Choose an item from the drop-down list. If you don’t want to apply this criterion, leave the box showing ‘any person’.

Some typical connections between a person and event include lecturer, lantern operator, singer, pianist and so on.

People are listed alphabetically by surname, with first names and dates of birth and death (or a fl. date of known activity) to help distinguish between people of the same name.

Notes:

  • The drop-down list only shows those people already known to be connected to events with Lucerna records.
  • In most cases the names of people with connections to a given event are simply unknown and will never be identified.
  • In some cases the only record of a person’s connection to an event is from a minor reference in a source like a newspaper review, and more details of their involvement may not be available.
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Search by organisation associated with an event

This criterion will find all events recorded as being associated with a specific organisation.

Choose an item from the drop-down list. If you don’t want to apply this criterion, leave the box showing ‘any organisation’.

The most common recorded connection between an organisation and event is organiser, but there may be other connections, for example lantern exhibitor to indicate that an event included projection provided by a business rather than a named individual.

Organisations are listed alphabetically by name, but see the notes below for details of the sorting order.

Notes:

  • The drop-down list only shows those organisations already known to be connected to events with Lucerna records.
  • If the organisation’s name is based on a person’s name, the alphabetical sorting is on the basis of the surname – for example, ‘Alfred Bird & Sons’ is listed as ‘Bird & Sons, Alfred’.
  • Organisation names starting with an article are sorted alphabetically without the article – so for example ‘The Church Army’ is listed as ‘Church Army, The’.
  • In many cases the names of organisations with connections to a given event are unknown and will never be identified.
  • In some cases the only record of an organisation’s connection to an event is from a minor reference in a source like a newspaper review, and more details of its involvement may not be available.
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Search by event series title

This criterion will find organisations recorded as part of a named series.

Choose an item from the drop-down list. If you don’t want to apply this criterion, leave the box showing ‘any series’.

A few types of event were organised as named series of events that took place at intervals over a period of time – for example, a planned programme of lectures presented at weekly intervals by the same organisation.

This criterion is probably best used on its own, to give a list of the content of a chosen series, rather than in conjunction with other criteria.

Notes:

  • The event series titles in Lucerna are mainly allocated by researchers as generic descriptions (for example, Royal Albert Memorial Museum free lectures 1908-1909), rather than found in contemporary references.
  • Many events listed in Lucerna may have been parts of series which have not yet been identified.
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