Before Zoom. Save the Date

Pre-zoom, pre-cinema moving picture


Please join us at 2:00 EST on Friday, December 4, 2020, for a free webinar highlighting material in Princeton University Library’s Special Collections. This December we will offer you a captivating tour of our collection of pre-zoom, pre-cinema optical devices, rare artifacts designed for shared public entertainment or personal moments of wonder, leading up to the invention of the motion picture.

Through a series of live webcams (yikes, not prerecorded), we will attempt the phantasmagoria experienced in the past as we peer into 18th-century peepshows, twirl phenakistoscopes, open a gigantic megalethoscope and crank a miniature cinematograph. Feel the sense of wonder as still images come to life, turning day to night, causing volcanoes to erupt, and conjuring faces to rise from anamorphic chaos.

We will be joined by Christopher Collier, Executive Director, and Jesse Crooks, Operations Director and Head Projectionist for Renew Theaters, who will share some of the history and treasures of Princeton’s Garden Theater.

As always, this one hour session is free and open to the pubic but you need to register to get the invitation link: Register here.