We are continually making changes to Lantern and the entire Media History Digital Library technical infrastructure. Some changes may be something you notice right away, whereas others are invisible behind-the-scenes updates. This page tracks the development history of Lantern, as well as notes how we have responded to bugs and issues that have been reported to us.

Disclaimer: Although we make every effort to update this page with the most recent information, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or recency of this page. Please contact us at if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.

Known Issues

  • (2022-07-13) 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

Resolved Issues:

  • (2022-07-13) Some pages may display an inaccurate date, showing the earliest date of the entire volume - such as displaying "January 1, 1907" for a volume that contains scanned pages ranging from January through December of 1907.
    • (2022-07-14) - We have adjusted how date fields are displayed in search results and individual item pages to present more useful information about each page, but while maintaining Old-New and New-Old sorting functionality. We are continuing to assess and updating the underlying document metadata as well to continually improve the precision and accuracy of the information.
    • (2022-08-03) - We are continuing to correct the date metadata for MHDL items with inaccurate information. We have identified several items that require elevated permission in the Internet Archive for us to most effectively edit. We are working on identifying a workflow to edit these items and deliver the most accurate information to you. Please continue to report items with inaccurate metadata by using the reporting form on individual items pages or by emailing
  • (2022-07-25) The "Read in Context" links in the search results view no longer opens the page in a new tab
    • (2022-08-03) - We have restored this functionality and these links should default to opening in a new tab
  • (2022-07-25) Advanced search form is missing the option to search by year
    • (2022-08-03) - The search result page for an Advanced Search query includes an option to facet the search based on the year field.
    • (2022-08-03) - Added a new field to the Advanced Search form to specify date(s) before executing the advanced search query.
  • (2022-08-04) Some "author" fields contain duplicated data
    • (2022-08-08) - We have implemented a fix to identify duplicated names and remove extraneous characters before displaying them in-browser.
  • (2022-08-08) Some publication titles may appear to be duplicated in the facet panels
    • (2022-09-02) - We have determined that some publication titles contain trailing spaces and other additional characters causing them to be sorted separately from one another. We are beginning to implement an additional step to our automated processing workflow which checks for such instances and attempts to normalize titles. This will be supplemented with ongoing manual review of titles for accuracy.
  • (2022-08-08) Some languages appear inconsistently in the facet panels
    • (2022-09-02) - We are beginning to implement an additional step to our automated processing workflow to normalize language names. Data that is stored as "eng" and "ENG", for example, will now display as "English"
  • (2022-09-08) Certain fields do not function as expected in Advanced Search queries. Searches for the "Date" field return pages from incorrect years. Certain links from the MHDL website which use the Advanced Search URL would return zero results.
    • (2022-09-22) - We have identified an error in the Advanced Search configuration. This has been corrected and all Advanced Search fields should not function as expected.
    • (2023-07-15) - We have spent the last several months making minor metadata refinements and updates.

Update History

  • (2023-07-15) - Lantern Version 2.1.2
    • Added Dark Mode and Light Mode
    • Added option to follow system setting for dark/light modes
  • (2022-08-03) - Lantern Version 2.1.1
    • Minor bug fixes and improvements to the Advanced Search functionality
    • Added this page - more detailed changelog and update history
  • (2022-09-03) - Lantern Version 2.1.0
    • Upgraded Ruby and Ruby on Rails versions
    • Blacklight version 7.29.0
    • Blacklight Range Limit version 8.2.3
    • Upgrade middleware to improve protection from malicious use and attacks
  • (2022-08-03) - Lantern Version 2.0.1
    • Restored "open in new tab" behavior for "Read in Context" links
    • Advanced Search form now includes a "Date" field as expected
    • Replace lingering use of beta/testing URLs within the system and interface
  • (2022-07-13) - Lantern Version 2.0.0
    • Upgraded to modern versions of Ruby and Ruby on Rails
    • Rebuild website from the ground up to reduce lingering unused and inefficent code
    • New Lantern logo
    • Better responsive design/layout throughotu the website
    • Entirely new front landing page with dynamic visualizations of recently added pages
    • Added custom HTTP error pages to provide a better user experience while also improving ease of troubleshooting
    • Redesigned Advanced Search Form
    • Parse and render HTML contained within page descriptions
    • Display processed OCR text for each page
    • Enabled the basic implementation of JSON-API to allow programmatic access to Lantern queries and individual item data.