Lantern Slides of the Open Spaces Society
The Open Spaces Society (OSS) was founded in 1865. It is the oldest national society in Britain campaigning for the preservation of commons, public paths, and open spaces. The Society has contributed to saving public access to many of our best-loved landscapes and rights of way across the country.
The Open Spaces Society Collection at The MERL includes over 1,000 lantern slides from the early 20th century. They represent images from many of the landscapes that the OSS helped to save, including long-distance paths, river walkways, ancient woods, and footpaths.
Dr Katrina Navickas, Open Spaces Society Fellow at MERL for 2020-21 , selected 15 lantern slides from the collection. These are grouped into four themes: ancient forests and woods; rural idylls; the intrusion of the modern; and obstruction and trespass. Click on the points on the map to learn more about each slide’s location and its history.
For further reading: view accompanying interpretation or explore the OSS’s lantern slides collection online. Alternatively, find out how to get involved with the Society’s work by visiting the OSS website or by following them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.