Research documents

This page informs about the kind of source we worked with. In the section ‘Publications’ you will find links to our project-related publications, most of them are accessible online. In the section ‘Working Papers’ you will find some of our work in progress documents. We cordially invite you to share your ideas and comments on our thoughts with us! The section ‘Knowledge Valorisation and Cooperation’ informs about our contributions to initiatives and projects outside of academia. At the bottom of the page, in the section ‘Research Documents’, you will find some clips of Early Cinema that are of particular interest in our research.


Portraits de la Hollande
Frank Kessler’s article in the edition “Regards Croisés sur la société Pathé Frères” of the journal Cinéma & Cie (vol 13, Iss 21, 41-47) discusses a corpus of travelogue films of the Netherlands, produces by Pathé Frères between 1909 and 1914. Frank Kessler compares the description of the Pathé trade catalog with formal features of the films.

The Realness of the Dutch. Performing visual Evidence for National Differences
Sarah Dellmann has published her article in the edited volume Objectivity and the effects of truth. Early Cinema and the realist tradition, edited by Àngel Quintana and Jordi Pons, 2015. Inher article, Sarah Dellmann traces the combination of word and image in popular media of the nineteenth century to reconstruct the emergence of the cliché figures that represent a nation. This paper is based on a presentation that she gave at the 9th seminar on the origins and history at Girona (November 2013).

Crafts and industry in early films of British India: Contrasting album and process films
Rianne Siebenga has published ‘Crafts and industry in early films of British India: Contrasting album and process films’ in Early Popular Visual Culturevol.12:3, 342-356, august 2014. In her article, Rianne analyses the differences between films depicting crafts and those depicting industries in British India and locates these differences within British colonial discourses about India.

From ‘Crocodile City’ to ‘Ville Lumière’
Dafna Ruppin has published the article “From ‘Crocodile City’ to ‘Ville Lumière’: Cinema Spaces on the Urban Landscape of Colonial Surabaya” in Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast AsiaVol. 29, Nr. 1, March 2014. In her article, she investigates the development of exhibition spaces for cinema in Surabaya between 1897 and World War I.

>> The article is accessible online for subscribers to the journal, the abstract of the article can be found here.

Picturing Muharram: Images of a Colonial Spectacle, 1870-1915
Rianne Siebenga has published the article “Picturing Muharram: Images of a Colonial Spectacle, 1870-1915” in the Journal of South Asian Studies, Fall 2013. In the article, Rianne investigates how the representations of the festival of Muharram in the colonial India differs in written sources and visual material.

>> See the abstract and the article here.

To and From the Magic Lantern: Reappearing Photographic Images of The Netherlands in Various Media
In her Article “To and From the Magic Lantern: Reappearing Photographic Images of The Netherlands in Various Media” Sarah Dellmann shows that the same photographic clichés were used transmedially and internationally in the media landscape around 1900. This essay was published in the New Magic Lantern Journal 11 (3) in December 2012.

>> The abstract and the full text article are available free of charge at Utrecht University Repository.

Colonial India’s ‘Fanatical Fakirs’ and their Popular Representations
Rianne Siebenga has published the article “Colonial India’s ‘Fanatical Fakirs’ and their Popular Representations” in History and Anthropology, 23:4 (2012), 445-466

To gain an understanding of postcards and magic lantern slides of British and American origin representing Indian fakirs, it is necessary to place these in the context of the colonial discourse on India. Rianne Siebenga concludes these images do not merely reflect this discourse, but also evade the boundaries set by the texts.

>> See the Abstract (full text is available at the publisher’s website to universities with subscriptions to that journal).

The conference proceedings of the 8th seminar on the history and origins of Cinema are published in the edited volume  Àngel Quintana & Jordi Pons (Eds.) La construcció de l’actualitat en el cinema dels orígens / The Construction of News in Early Cinema / La construcción de la actualidad en el cine de los orígenes. Girona: Fundació Mueseu del Cinema-Col.lectió Tomàs Mallol & Ajuntament de Girona, 2012. Their articles are accessible via Utrecht University Repository:

Creating an event out of nothing happening. An exploration of the category ‘event’ through tourist imagery of the Zuiderzee region (The Netherlands), 1874-1914. pp. 139-150
>> Read the Full Text of Sarah Dellmann’s article

‘Views from the Japanese-Russian War’: Re-titling Russo-Japanese War Film Programmes in the Netherlands and Netherlands Indies, pp. 191-202
>>Read the Full Text of Dafna Ruppin’s article


Working Papers

“Notes on the Concept of Cultural Series” (2013)
Frank Kessler’s working paper gives an overview over the potentials and pitfalls of the concept of cultural series, developed by André Gaudreault and Philip Marion. The concept is much used in early cinema studies.

>> The paper can be downloaded free of charge from Narcis

“Intermediality in early cinema studies: An interrogation of a widely used concept for research practice” (2012)
Revised and extended article based on a presentation by Sarah Dellmann, Dafna Ruppin and Klaas de Zwaan given at the workshop ‘Media across Borders: Catastrophes in Early Popular Visual Culture’, Stockholm, Sweden (2011).
>> Read the article

“The Nation and Its Other” (2010)
Presentation of the general outline and research questions of our work. Given by Sarah Dellmann and Dafna Ruppin at the Workshop “Early Cinema Colloquium II” for Studies in Early Cinema, University of Zürich, November 2010.
>> Have a look at the presentation (pdf)

Knowledge Valorisation and Cooperation

Forum Lenteng
Dafna Ruppin was interviewed about her research findings on early cinema in colonial Indonesia by Forum Lenteng, a Jakarta-based non-profit organisation which focuses on media-based educational programmes across Indonesia, for their online magazine Jurnal Footage.

LUCERNA is a web resource providing information on the magic lantern. Though still often seen as a ‘pre-cinema’ medium superseded by the arrival of moving pictures, the influences of lantern projection have been much wider than that reductive view suggests. Magic Lantern Slides and Slide shows were among the most popular visual media of the nineteenth century.
LUCERNA is committed to principles of Open Access; it is created and run entirely by volunteers. Read more (pdf) about LUCERNA in KINtop Newsletter Nr. 37 (2012).

Lantern slide sets for LUCERNA
In collaboration with private collectors, Sarah Dellmann contributed her findings on slide sets on the Netherlands to LUCERNA. For the first time, information on lantern slides depicting the Netherlands and the Dutch is assembled and made publicly available. This facilitates identifying and researching slides and slide sets.

The LUCERNA workgroup
Sarah Dellmann is part of the LUCERNA workgroup and takes part in conceptual discussion in the development of the database from a researcher’s perspective.
See also our site on Digital Humanities.

On March 22nd 2013, a study day of the LUCERNA work group took place in Utrecht. The participants exchanged their experiences of scholarly uses and prioritized ideas for software development of this web resource. Decisions were taken to improve the usefulness of this resource for audiences inside and outside of academia (museums, archives, collectors and scholars), e.g. by integrating the controlled thesaurus ICONCLASS and working together with the developers of, a database for everyone who wants to study imagery and publish about it.

For a short report of the meeting, read the article (pdf) in the New Magic Lantern Journal Vol 12.2 (May 2013)

New Series: Magic Lantern in Academic Research
Starting October 2013, Sarah Dellmann edits a new series for the Newsletter of the Magic Lantern Society of the UK and Canada. For each of the monthly newsletters, one researcher will be interviewed about his or her work about the Magic Lantern. The series wishes to contribute to the visibility and accessibility of academic work on the lantern – which often is grounded on great research of collectors and amateurs – to an interested public. If you wish to share your work with us, please contact Sarah Dellmann.

In the first edition, Sarah Dellmann tells about her research. Read the article (pdf) in the Magic Lantern Society News from October 2013. Rianne Siebenga gave an interview for the December 2013 edition.

Research Documents

The Indonesian Film Center website has recently introduced some clips of early cinema on its website. Here is a selection of material that is particularly relevant to Dafna Ruppin’s project:

Other films: