This section covers a wide range of resources for readers to take further their interest in Victorian cinema, or Victorian life as reflected through the projected image. Follow the links on the left-hand menu for individual sections.
The websites below offer an introduction to the world of Victorian cinema, including pre-cinema and optical toys. It includes the few sites offering online moving image materials from the Victorian cinema period. Also listed separately are personal sites for Who's Who figures, and general sites on the Victorian era.
Incomparable collection of early film clips from the Library of Congress, with substantial supporting information. Includes early Edison productions, turn-of-the-century views of New York, the origins of American animation, American variety acts, and views from the Spanish-American War. Available in streamed and downloadable forms, in MPEG, QuickTime and Real formats. In April 2009 the Library published fresh digitisations of some of the Edison titles on its new YouTube channel
The Bioscope is an information resource for early and silent cinema, in blog format. It provides news, information, events, documents, publications, discoveries and anything else on early and silent cinema (which include the 'pre-cinema' and Victorian cinema fields). Update: The Bioscope stopped adding new content in August 2012 but its archives can still be viewed online.
Enthusiastic and knowledgeable site, from Dutch collector Michael Rogge, of cinema equipment, with a lengthy list of makes of different kinds of cameras and projectors, and many illustrations from his collection, with a number from the Victorian Cinema period. Includes the lavishly illustrated page One Hundred Years of Film Sizes
The Complete History of the Discovery of Cinema
An ambitious attempt by Paul Burns to trace the origins of motion pictures from 900 BC through to the arrival of cinematography at the end of the 19th century. The quality of the information is variable, too often plain wrong, and does not begin to challenge a published work such as Hermann Hecht's Pre-Cinema History
(1993), but the undertaking is courageous and imaginative, and the illustrations are very welcome.
Early Visual Media
Eclectic site devoted to 'early vintage visual media and their usage', created by Thomas Weynants. In practice, a large number of images relating to 'pre-cinema' themes, photography, early film, the conjuring arts, and the dance of death, and so on, idiosyncratically selected and arranged.
Film History Notes
Plainly-designed but informative and reliable notes from Australian film historian Tony Martin-Jones on the first films in Australia and India.
The Impossible Cameras
Photographs and background information on a remarkable project led by Stephen Herbert and collector Gordon Trewinnard to build working replicas of the first motion picture cameras, in some cases building cameras of which no original physical example now remains.
An online reseach resource for the magic lantern, created with great dedication and precision by Richard Crangle. It contains details and reproductions of slide sets, slide images, readings and other texts related to slide sets, lantern hardware, people and organisations involved in lantern history.
Huge and wide-ranging collaborative site on the history of photography, with thousands of photographers cited, including biographical entries on several photographers from the Victorian era who crossed over into cinematography.
In 1999 London's Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI) closed. Stephen Herbert (producer of The Projection Box
and co-editor of this site) has devised an unofficial on-line version of the sections of the Museum that covered pre-cinema and early cinema. Beautifully illustrated and animated, it is the first place to learn about magic lanterns, the phantasmagoria, panoramas, Zoetropes, Phenakistoscopes, chronophotography and the first twenty years of cinema.
100 Years of Cinema in Europe
Well-researched site on the history of cinema exhibition in Europe, with sections devoted to France, Italy, Great Britain, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Hungary, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, Austria and Luxembourg, giving welcome detail on production and exhibition in the earliest years for each country. In English and Italian.
Impressive online encyclopdia and moving image educational resource from the British Film Institute
. Combines the history of British film and television, through a complex strucuture based around themes, personalities, tours and special features. Screenonline comes with a huge number of streamed video clips, which are accessible to UK educational users only (schools, colleges and libraries).
A very useful site from David Fisher on the history of the media, including motion pictures, from their historical roots to the present day. It includes the Chronomedia section, a timeline of key events in the development of communications media, with some detailed annotations. There is particular emphasis on the Brighton and Hove pioneers
of the Victorian/early Edwardian period.
The following Who's Who in Victorian Cinema entrants have web sites devoted to them:
Birt Acres - Birt Acres (1854-1918) - Film Pioneer
Thomas Edison - Thomas A. Edison Papers; Thomas Edison's Home Page; Inventing Entertainment
Alice Guy - Alice Guy Blaché
Frank Haydon and George Urry - Haydon and Urry Ltd
Burton Holmes - Burton Holmes, Extraordinary Traveller
Siegmund Lubin - King of the Movies
Auguste and Louis Lumière - Institut Lumière
Etienne-Jules Marey - Étienne-Jules Marey: Movement in Light
Georges Méliès - Georges Méliès
Eadweard Muybridge - The Compleat Muybridge
Riley brothers - Willie Riley
Eugen Sandow - Eugen Sandow & The Golden Age of Iron Men
Charles Urban - Charles Urban, Motion Picture Pioneer
Gabriel Veyre - Collection Gabriel Veyre
Alfred West - 'Our Navy' - Alfred John West FRGS - Film Pioneer
The following websites are useful general resources for the study of Victorianism and nineteenth-century life:
American Family Immigration History Center
The British Empire
Dictionary of Victorian London
The Victorian Peeper
Victoria Research Web
The Victorian Society in America
The Victorian Web