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World's Columbian Exposition lantern slides

Identifier: Midwest-MS-WCESlides

Scope and Content of the Collection

Fifty-six glass slides of the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893, showing scenes of the landscape, buildings, exhibits, and the Midway Plaisance.

A few of the slides have cracks and/or slight deterioration, and most retain the original labels.


  • Creation: 1893



Materials are in English.


The World's Columbian Exposition lantern slides are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The World's Columbian Exposition lantern slides are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

History of The World's Columbian Exposition

The World's Columbian Exposition, also known as The Chicago World's Fair, was held in Chicago in 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus's arrival in the New World. Much of it designed by Daniel Burnham and Frederick Law Olmsted, the fair served as a defining moment in Chicago's history, affecting architecture, the arts, and the city's self-image.

Conceived to demonstrate the progress of civilization, the exposition covered more than 600 acres, with nearly 200 buildings featuring peoples and cultures from around the world. There were numerous exhibits showing examples of American business, industrial innovation and technology, and a mile-long avenue called the Midway Plaisance which offered education and amusements.

Shortly after the fair closed, many of the buildings were destroyed by fire.


0.4 Linear Feet (1 box)


56 glass lantern slides showing environs, buildings and exhibits at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago.


Slides arranged alphabetically.

Collection Stack Location

1 36 7


Part of a larger collection donated to the Ohio State University Archives in June, 1966, by Calvin D. Beard. Date of gift to Newberry unknown.

Processed by

Virginia Hay Smith, 2014.

Inventory of the World's Columbian Exposition lantern slides, 1893
Alison Hinderliter
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States