Lantern 2.0 Beta Test

This is a beta version of the upgraded Lantern interface. Some features may not work consistently or reliably on this beta site.You can visit the current website at

Please help us out by reporting any errors or unexpected problems. When reporting problems or errors, please send us as much information as possible via email to and include the following details:

  1. Expected Behavior (what was supposed to happen?)
  2. Error Messages and/or Screenshots
  3. The web browser and device that you are using
  4. Steps to reproduce the problem

You can also report problems with the metadata on an individual page by clicking on the "Something wrong or inaccurate about this page? Let us Know!" link. You can also send us general thoughts, comments, and feedback using this form.

Please also feel free to let us know what you think about the upgraded interface or if you have any recommendations for features we should consider adding. We appreciate your help in contributing to the ongoing development of Lantern and the Media History Digital Library. You can get in touch via email or through our online form.

New Features and Recent Updates:

  • Upgrade to use Blacklight version 7.0 and updated versions of Ruby on Rails
  • New Lantern logo
  • Improved responsive design for use on mobile devices
    • We are especially interested to hear how well Lantern works (or doesn't work) on various devices. Please let us know how it goes for you!
  • Redesigned Advanced Search form
    • Now includes a collapsible section to display additional search options
    • The "search by metadata only" is now a checkbox instead of "Lantern Hack: Enter 0001"
  • Redesigned Front Landing Page
    • Includes a dynamically updated count of the number of available pages to search
    • Includes an automatically generated visualization of recently added volumes
  • Added option to individual page views to report inaccurate or missing info - and automatically send this information via a Slack bot to our team
  • Added option to individual page views to search for pages from the same volume
  • Custom 404 and 500 HTTP error pages
  • Added functionality to display alert messages at the top of the page
  • From the search results page, the option to "Click to Read with Search Highlighted" should now work for both basic searches and advanced searches
  • Any HTML contained within an item's description field will now be parsed and rendered on individual item pages
  • Added option on individual item pages to display processed OCR text. This should make it easier to copy/paste a sentence that you want to quote!
  • Enabled the basic implementation of JSON-API to allow programmatic access to Lantern queries and individual item data. Read more and see examples.

Known Issues:

  • Some custom queries from the front-page visualization may result in a "500 - Internal Server Error" page instead of displaying pages from the specified volume. We have identified the root cause of this problem and are working on updating our code to resolve it. This does not affect regular user search queries
  • The front-page visualization of recent scans may display blank covers. This is because the images are dynamically pulled from the Internet Archive, and the "first page" may actually be a scan of a blank book cover