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Exploration & Discovery: The Henry H. Hart Collection Exhibit: Ephemera

A major Library exhibit that ran between September 2013 and March 2014, highlighting the papers of Henry H. Hart within the Special Collections of the University Libraries.

Collection Ephemera

During the course of his research and travels, Henry Hart acquired numerous artifacts and curiosities that reflected both the subjects in which he was interested, as well as the times in which he lived.

Principal among the items in the ephemera of his collection are a stereoscope with numerous sets of commercially produced “slides” that allowed the viewer of this hand-held device a 3-D sensation.

As with today’s media delivery systems, there were also accessories, such as lantern slide boxes with decorative labels, and book-like leather volumes in which stereoscopic slide-cards were packaged.

Other items in this collection grouping include a hand-carved woodblock stamp (or “chop”) that may have been Hart’s own personal “logo” for identifying certain documents or artwork as his own.

Among other miscellanea, the directions for one of Hart’s lantern projectors, Chinese game tiles, Hart’s well-worn U.S. passport, and numerous other items.

Books on Exploration

In addition to his core collection of materials on Marco Polo, Hart's interest in the European Age of Exploration was insatiable. He collected volumes on the topic in numerous languages, from across the centuries.

Among the most prized items in this collection is a 16th-century Atlas of China as compiled by Jesuits. For a sample visual of this beautiful work, check out the image gallery on this LibGuide's Home page.

Lantern Slide Projector

Lantern Slider Projectors were the PowerPoint  presentations of the late 19th- and early 20th-centuries. Travelers and scholars who could afford them - and the bulky cameras that created the glass-plate positive images that went in them - were limited to black-and-white images.

While the sheer exoticism of their subjects usually captivated viewers who were unused to clear visuals from far-off locales, many photographers took the extra trouble to have their images tinted in suggestive color tones to further impress their audiences. Colorized glass slides were also available commercially, and Hart's collection includes many labeled boxes of these as well (pictured).

As a visiting lecturer at U.C. Berkeley and at many other public speaking engagements, Dr. Hart apparently made this effort. What you see if you click on the Lantern Slides tab at the top of this Guide, will be slides so beautifully tinted that one can easily forget they are not actually black and white!

Military Service Documents and Related Materials


Also included is correspondence with the War Department early in World War II, which document Hart's military commission as government translator during the conflict.

Lantern Slide Projector Accessories

Lantern projector with wooden carrying case and sample, commercially produced  glass slides. Note the instructions on the inside of the lid and below (detail).

This view shows the back of the projector partially disassembled, with the heat-dissipating tall stack removed.

Close-up of the projector's directions. Try right-clicking to view image and zoom in to read them.

Personal Items

As a by product of decades of public service and travel, Dr. Hart's collection includes a well-worn passport and clipped newspaper articles of notable events in his life.


Among other personal items are numerous publications and pamphlets from Hart's various lecture events, as well as miscellaneous identification cards he carried from grammar school onward!