Fundraiser for a ‘magic’ lantern could light up new-look cen­tre

Hamilton Advertiser - - NEWS -

A Crowd­fund­ing page has been set up to buy a rare ‘magic lantern’ slide show­ing David Liv­ing­stone preach­ing the Bib­li­cal story of Abra­ham and Isaac in Africa.

The fundraiser, which has al­ready brought in £315 of its £1300 tar­get, is the brain­child of the David Liv­ing­stone Trust, which wants to add the arte­fact to its col­lec­tion of 3000 ob­jects con­nected to the leg­endary Scot­tish ex­plorer and mis­sion­ary.

And the David Liv­ing­stone Trust hopes the slide – which is cur­rently in pri­vate own­er­ship – will go on dis­play in its new mu­seum, which is cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion as part of the much-an­tic­i­pated Birth­place Pro­ject in Blan­tyre, La­nark­shire.

Natalie Milor, cu­ra­tor at the David Liv­ing­stone Trust, said: “The lantern slide will pro­vide much needed visual weight to the new mu­seum’s nar­ra­tive, where both the con­tro­ver­sial and cel­e­brated ac­tiv­i­ties of mis­sion­ary work will be ex­plored.

“Dis­played along­side Liv­ing­stone’s magic lantern, a 21st cen­tury au­di­ence will see how 19th cen­tury cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy was used by mis­sion­ar­ies – with vary­ing de­grees of suc­cess – to spread Chris­tian­ity.”

The David Liv­ing­stone Trust’s col­lec­tion con­tains a lantern used by David Liv­ing­stone in South­ern Africa, a gift from Mungo Mur­ray, who ac­com­pa­nied him on the early jour­ney to Lake Ngami.

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 (see the three im­ages at the top of the page for im­ages con­tained in the lantern slide).

Natalie added: “We feel this slide would make a great ad­di­tion to the new mu­seum and our team are very ex­cited about it.”

The David Liv­ing­stone Cen­tre and its 11-hectare grounds are in the process of be­ing trans­formed into a world-class vis­i­tor at­trac­tion as part of the £6.1 mil­lion Birth­place Pro­ject.

The Sta­tion Road site in Blan­tyre in­cludes the iconic Shut­tle Row mill­work­ers’ ten­e­ment where David Liv­ing­stone was born and raised.

The pro­ject – which is ex­pected to be com­plete by 2020 – will in­clude the re­newal of the his­toric build­ings, a newly-in­ter­preted ex­hi­bi­tion which will show­case arte­facts from the Trust’s col­lec­tion of 3000 ob­jects and an up­grade of vis­i­tor fa­cil­i­ties such as the café and shop.

The Birth­place Pro­ject is jointly funded by The Na­tional Lot­tery through The Her­itage Lot­tery Fund (£4.1m), the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment (£1.3m) and His­toric En­vi­ron­ment Scot­land (£575,000). The main con­trac­tor is Clark Con­tracts Ltd.

To do­nate or find out more about the Crowd­fund­ing page, go to the web­site www.david-liv­ing­stone-trust.org

Re­vamp Multi-mil­lion pound work is un­der way at the David Liv­ing­stone Cen­tre

Mis­sion­ary David Liv­ing­stone, La­nark­shire’s most fa­mous son

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