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Feedback, questions, problems? Get in touch at stereo@nypl.org

The collections

Do you have a sizeable, digitized collection of stereographs that you'd like to include in the site? Good news: we've developed a simple Flickr tie-in that makes this easy. Contact us at stereo@nypl.org to learn more.

New York Public Library

All images used in the Stereogranimator can be found in the NYPL Digital Gallery, an open-access repository of over 800,000 digital images. The vast majority (over 39,000 items) originate in the Robert N. Dennis Collection of Stereoscopic Views, which is physically housed in the Photography Collection in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 42nd and 5th Avenue, New York City.

A smaller subset of material originates from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, one of NYPL's four research hubs.

Boston Public Library

The Boston Public Library Print Department holds nearly 2,500 stereographs, the majority of them are regional views of America, with emphasis on Boston and New England. The collection, comprised of several donations, also includes international views, comic series, and stereographs for testing stereo depth perception.

The nearly 650 Boston stereographs used in the Stereogranimator can be found in the Boston Public Library's Flickr account. These stereographs record the built environment and events from the 1850s to the first decades of the 20th century. Among the topographic and scenic views are panoramas of the city, the Great Fire of Boston (1872), the American Peace Jubilee and Music Festival (1869), and people participating in events of the day.

First produced as entertainment devices, the stereographs are reference tools for depicting buildings no longer extant; changes to Boston Harbor; modes of costume and entertainment of the era; and the importance of the Boston Common and Public Garden in enriching the lives of its citizens.

U.S. Geological Survey

The growing number of stereographs in this U.S. Geological Survey collection come from over 700 photos in the USGS Photographic Library, with a majority sourced from the Four Great Surveys of the West in the 1860s and '70s. Congress established the USGS in 1879, after abolishing the three remaining federal surveys, to continue their work in a more coordinated and efficient way. Iconic scenes from this period of U.S. expansion and exploration of the West include views of Yellowstone National Park (first national park, 1872), the Rio Grande River, travels through Colorado and Wyoming, and even flippin' flapjacks in camp.

New-York Historical Society

The collection of 731 Civil War stereographs from the New-York Historical Society's Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections covers the entire period of the Civil War, from the first Battle of Bull Run through the surrender at Appomattox, and the triumphal parade of Union forces in Washington D.C. The images include compelling depictions of death on the battlefield and the destruction of cities, railroads and bridges. There are individual and group portraits of participants, along with images of soldiers relaxing in camps, drilling in the field, and preparing for attack in trenches and other fortifications. The collection also includes images of African Americans fleeing slavery by crossing the Union lines, as well as African Americans on southern plantations and serving in the Army and the Navy. Among the photographers represented in the collection are Mathew Brady and his former employees Alexander Gardner, James Gibson, and Timothy O'Sullivan, as well as George N. Barnard, who took photographs in Virginia and the Carolinas, Sam A. Cooley, who was the 'Official Photographer' for the 10th Army Corps, and local photographers from Richmond, Gettysburg, and other locations.


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