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George Elmer Allan Magic Lantern Slide Collection

Identifier: msc0201

Scope and Contents

1,855 4x4 inch lantern slides; 100 2x2 inch slides; lantern slide projector with adaptation for film strips. The collection is unusual in that several of the slide sets are accompanied by the prepared sermon sold with them as a printed booklet. The presence of these booklets is noted throughout the finding aid with the relevant slide set. A complete list of available sermon booklets can be found in Box 45 of the collection. The majority of these slides are from the Victor Animatagraph Company. Where possible, we have identified specific Animatograph rental sets and series, usually by referring to the Ryan Lantern Slide Service's Lantern Slide Catalog, First Edition. This catalog is available for reference in Box 7 of the Papers of the Victor Animatograph Corporation (MsC 153). Most other titles have been drawn from the slides themselves. Newell Dwight Hillis (1858-1929) was the third pastor of Plymouth Church. Following his graduation from Lake Forest University in 1884, Hillis enrolled as a student at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. He took on a number of pastorates in the Chicago area before accepting a call to Plymouth in 1899. Hillis and his family participated in many church activities and those of its related organizations, as well as the lives of the members of the congregation. In addition to his weekly sermons at Plymouth, Hillis lectured extensively throughout the country. Many of his lectures were compiled and published as books while his sermons were often reprinted in newspapers. Hillis felt that it was important to address social and political issues from the pulpit. Hillis was an outspoken critic of German aggression in the 1910s and spoke openly about the moral duty of the United States to declare war on Germany. After the United States entered World War I, Hillis spoke throughout the country on behalf of the Liberty Loan Drives, which raised funds for the war effort. Following the war, Hillis authored the "Better America" lectures, a series of lectures with accompanying slides which were addressed to a new immigrant population. The Better America lectures addressed issues that were considered important to the stability and security of the United States following the political upheaval in Europe which had led to World War I and the rise of the communism in Russia. The lectures and slides were sold as a package and were prepared so that others could deliver Hillis' lectures. In 1924, Hillis suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and soon afterward resigned from the pulpit of Plymouth Church. At the time of his death, on February 25, 1929, Newell Dwight Hillis was considered one of the most prolific speakers of his generation.

1855 magic lantern slides plus 100 2x2 inch slides; also projector with attachment for film strip projection and a number of film strips. George Elmer Allan was a preacher in the south who from the late 1920s incorporated multi-media presentations in his sermons -- using lantern slides initially and later 16mm film.

SFH 7/5/2006

The 2x2 inch slides remain in the Third Floor Stacks, near the vault. These have been processed. jlr 2013

Two sample slide storage and shipping cases are at n16:18:1


Two boxes housing projectors in Room HRA 3 (northwest corner). Have these been moved to IRA? To Range 39?


  • 1920-1940


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.


10.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



George Allan was a minister in Mississippi who used slides to accompany his sermons. The collection includes 1855 magic lantern slides plus 100 2x2 slides; also projector with attachment for film strip projection and a number of film strips.

Method of Acquisition

Gift of Lindsey White, March 2006.

Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)