Virgil Davis Doorways Glass Lantern Slide Collection

The photographs in this collection were developed from glass lantern slides photographed by professional photographer and Alexandria native, Virgil Davis. In the 1950s, Mr. Davis lectured about Alexandria structures and used the slides to illustrate his comments. These slides are positive transparencies and require a lantern projector. On account of the medium and technology, these images have not been available, even to the local research community, in decades.


In August 1996, a gift from the Friends of the Lloyd House made it possible for the images to be transferred to paper. The photographs are on Cibachrome paper, normally used for color photography. This process resulted in crisp images of remarkable depth. The original slides are housed in a special wooden box with slots for each. Unfortunately, several of the slides have broken over the course of time.


The earliest images in this exhibit of 40 selected from the original 100, date from 1936.   Most date from about 1950 and show Alexandria on the cusp of historic preservation. A number of structures have since been demolished, such as 202-204 N. Washington Street (in the background), and when applicable, this fact is noted. The photographs in this exhibit are presented in groups of 10 in the order in which Mr. Davis organized the collection.


GROUP 1   |   GROUP 2   |   GROUP 3   |   GROUP 4