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Elmer L. Foote Lantern Slide Collection

Elmer L. Foote served as official photographer of the Cincinnati Public Library for many years, and produced photographs that appeared in the Cincinnati Commercial Tribune during the early years of the twentieth century. Lantern slides are glass positive transparencies, viewed through a back lit projector. The Lexington Public Library does not have record of when the slides were donated, or the donor’s name. Records do indicate that the library purchased a projectoscope for viewing glass slides in 1912, and a separate lantern slide collection was donated to the library in 1919. The slides contain examples of posed portraiture, scenery from around Kentucky, documentation of the new High Bridge, as well as several historic buildings and homes, some of which are unidentified.

He was born in Glastonbury, Connecticut on February 27, 1863, the son of Edwin Foote and Ellen Hodges Foote, both natives of Connecticut. He came to Cincinnati about 1884 and married Estelle Allee of Cincinnati in 1888. Foote died at age 56 in Norwood, Ohio on September 21, 1919 and is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio. Foote's obituary in the Commercial Tribune of September 22, 1919 describes him as nationally known, and mentions his "photographic genius." The article further describes Foote's pictures taken among the Cumberland Mountains and outdoor scenic snow views, appearing at intervals in the Commercial Tribune, as photographic classics.

Young Boy, part of the Elmer L. Foote Collection
Cumberland Falls, part of the Elmer L. Foote Collection
High Bridge (Stone Towers), part of the Elmer L. Foote Collection
Marketing a Ford; Tennessee Mountains, part of the Elmer L. Foote Colletion

Other Archive Collections: 


  • Knowles Postcard Collection

    Images of notable Kentucky locations, such as Ashland, Keeneland, and Mammoth Cave

  • Fayette County Directories

    The Fayette County directories contain local information regarding resident addresses, government and officials, schools, land ownership, businesses, and other local organizations.
  • The Town Branch #1

    The Town Branch

    The Town Branch was presented as a brief history of Lexington and the Town Branch, given as a speech by Maude Ward Lafferty in 1917.

  • Fayette County Postcards

    The Fayette County Postcard collection contains 55 images of sites in central Kentucky.

  • 1896 Kentucky Chautauqua Detailed Illustrated Program

    The brochure for the Kentucky Chautauqua includes information and pictures of presenters and events.
  • "Soldier, Soldier Will You Marry Me?" from Mountain Ballads for Social Singing

    Mountain Ballads for Social Singing

    The Mountain Ballads pamphlet is 15 songs originally compiled for English Folk Songs in the Mountains of the Southern Appalachians.
  • Woodcut from the Annual Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Hamilton Female College

    Hamilton Female College Collection

    The Hamilton Female College catalogs list the school’s Board of Trustees, faculty, alumnae, graduates, directory of students, courses of study, and the members of each department.