Live-cell imaging has become an invaluable tool in all areas of cell biology and has afforded a plethora of insights that could not have been obtained by other means. Consequently, cell biologists now use a wide range of imaging techniques and labelling methods to investigate their protein or process of interest, which prompted us to organise the imaging-related content from Journal of Cell Science on a dedicated website ( Apart from showcasing beautiful images and movies, our Imaging site also includes links and tips that we hope our readers might find valuable. But where did it all begin? In contrast to what one might expect, the origins of time-lapse filming of cells go back more than a century, as outlined in the Essay by Brian Stramer and Graham Dunn (p. 9) that accompanies the launch of our Imaging site. Here, the authors highlight work from two pioneering cinemicroscopists, Ronald Canti and Michael Abercrombie, whose original films have recently been digitised and made freely available by the Wellcome Library. It is astonishing that these pioneers – working in the 1930s and 1950s, respectively, with basic home-built camera equipment – were already able to follow cellular processes over several weeks, while keeping the cells alive. Fast forward several decades, on page 15, Narasimhan Gautam and co-workers discuss cutting-edge advances in optogenetics that allow control to be exerted over processes at the subcellular level. We hope you enjoy this journey through live-cell imaging, and will become regular visitors to our Imaging site.