January 2019


The World Illuminated: Highlights of The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County’s Lantern Slide Collection

Lantern slides

In the early part of the 20th century the Library began collecting lantern slides, which were loaned to customers and used for Library programming, such as lectures. Highlights from this vast collection are on display at the Main Library through Feb. 28.

The Library’s first collection of lantern slides was added in 1904 during a lecture series. Over the years, the Library has collected more than 62,000 slides, many of which are taken from the Better Housing League. Founded in 1916, the Better Housing League embodied the activism and political reform of the Progressive Era in Cincinnati. The slides depict the photographic documentation of the League's extensive housing surveys and provide an intimate view of the everyday lives, homes, and communities of some of Cincinnati’s most vulnerable citizens. Cincinnati had a number of significant lantern slide manufacturers, whose work is also represented in the collection. These include: Uranus Hord, L. M. Prince, L. B. Folger and the Huber Art Company. The exhibit is located on the second floor connector bridge between the North and South buildings.

Scrapbook Image of World War I soldier

Cincinnati’s Historic Architecture: An Overview of 150 years of Architectural Styles

If you’ve ever walked the streets of Cincinnati and wondered what they would have looked like 100, or even 200, years ago then the Main Library’s new exhibit is for you. Cincinnati’s Historic Architecture: An Overview of 150 years of Architectural Styles is on display Jan. 31- April 28 in the Joseph S. Stern Jr., Cincinnati Room at the Main Library. Since Cincinnati’s founding in 1788, buildings have played a major role in the story of the Cincinnati’s growth. From early fortifications, to simple log cabins and block houses made of stone, architecture has been a necessary factor.

While precious few 18th-century structures survive in the area, many 19th- and early 20th-century examples of the city’s past are with us today. Iconic structures such as Music Hall, City Hall and Union Terminal are fine examples of widely known historic buildings in the region. But countless other structures quietly serve as vital reminders of our collective past and help to tell stories to present and future generations. The public is invited to enjoy a sampling of buildings, styles and time periods representing the city’s proud architectural heritage.

For additional information about any of the exhibits listed, please call our Programs & Exhibits Office at 513-369-3173.