The Hudson Transparencies

The Hudson Transparencies are a set of fifty-eight original images of microscopic plants and animals. Created in the late 19th century by Victorian naturalist Charles Thomas Hudson to accompany his educational talks, they now form part of the University of Exeter’s Special Collections. This exhibition showcases all 58 transparencies together for the first time, with images showing both their construction, and how they were intended to appear when lit from behind.

Image titles have been taken from labels on the transparencies, where present, so may not reflect current terminology for the creatures and plants depicted. Where the current terminology is known this is indicated in square brackets in the description.

With thanks to University of Exeter Arts and Culture, whose exhibition of the transparencies formed the basis for this online exhibition, and to Dr Robin Wootton who revived interest in these unique items, completing the first listing of the transparencies in 2011.

All images in this exhibition are courtesy of University of Exeter Special Collections and reproduction of these images is not permitted without permission from the Special Collections Department.