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Search & Variety arrive at the Media History Digital Library

Since we launched the Media History Digital Library website in 2011, you have asked us two questions over and over again.

First, when will you make it possible for users to run fulltext searches across the entire collection at once?

Second, when will you digitize Variety (or, more precisely, the portion of Variety that belongs in the public domain)?

You asked. We delivered.

We are very happy to announce the launch of Lantern, the MHDL’s search platform, and the availability of the first 20 years of Variety (Dec. 1905- Feb. 1926; post-production on the next 20 years is underway).

Lantern, our search platform, allows you to search the MHDL collections. You may access Lantern at or simply type a query into the searchbox of the website you are already on.

The MHDL’s searchable collections now include:

· Business Screen (1938-1973)
· Educational Screen (1922-1962)
· The Film Daily (1918-1948)
· International Photographer (1929-1941)
· International Projectionist (1933-1965)
· Transactions of SMPE and Journal of SMPE (1915-1954)
· Motion Picture Magazine (1914-1941)
· Motography (1909-1918)
· Movie Classic (1931-1937)
· Movie Makers (1926-1953)
· Moving Picture World (1907-1919)
· The New Movie Magazine (1929-1935)
· Photoplay (1914-1943)
· Radio Annual and Television Yearbook (1938-1964)
· Radio Digest (1923-1933)
· Radio Mirror (1934-1963)
· Radio Broadcast (1922-1930)
· Sponsor (1946-1964)
· Talking Machine World (1906-1928)
· Variety (1905-1926)

In addition to searching Lantern, we invite you try out the homepage’s interactive magazine gallery. You may visually sort the collections by genre, page count, circulation, and the number of academic citations. The covers link to our holdings of the magazine.

Lantern and the scanning of Variety were made possible through the support and close cooperation of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Communication Arts. Many of the rare magazines in our collection came from the Library of Congress Packard Campus, and you can see the full list of contributing individuals and sponsors on the credits webpage.

Happy searching!

David & Eric

7 Responses

  1. vp19 says:

    From everyone at “Carole & Co.”, congratulations — and we’ve already noted the arrival of Variety:

    • Eric Hoyt says:

      Thanks for the nice note! And thanks especially for all the ways you’ve been able to put the MHDL collections to use on Carole & Co.!


  2. [...] Database, Over 800,000 Pages Available Filed by Gary Price on August 12, 2013 Lantern is the new search interface from the award winning Media History Project Digital [...]

  3. Michael Gray says:

    seems to be mostly unavailable … but when it is, it’s great!

    Mike Gray
    Former Chief Librarian
    Voice of America
    Washington, DC

    • Eric Hoyt says:

      Are you having trouble accessing the site? What web browser are you using? We’ve tested it on Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. Please try giving it another spin today and see if things work faster.
      - Eric

  4. Vincent says:

    Thanks to the Media History Digital Library, one of the holy grails of classic Hollywood fans — a photo of both Carole Lombard and Jean Harlow — has been found in, of all places, Radio Mirror (specifically the July 1935 issue). See more about this discovery by Harlow expert Darrell Mooney at

    Thanks for Lantern and the increasing number of publications brought to the Library; for both historians and bloggers, it’s heaven on earth.

    Vincent Paterno
    administrator, “Carole & Co.”

  5. Jean-Jacques Bouhon says:

    Hi, I just dicovered mediahistoryproject and I’m very impressed by your work. I’m a director of photography and the head of the Image department at “La fémis”, French Film School; I immediately will give the address of your site to my students!
    I just wanted to tell you that I’m unable to use
    Each time I click on a thumbnail or make a research, I get a strange page warning me about an error. For example, the first words I can read are:
    “ActiveRecord::StatementInvalid in CatalogController#index”
    I hope it’s a temporary bug.
    As for the moment I use the links on the page.
    Long live your wonderful work!
    Best regards
    Jean-Jacques Bouhon

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