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Guide to the California Stereograph Collection
MSS-2010-09-18  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The California Stereograph Collection consists of seventy-eight cards published by the Keystone View Company, Underwood & Underwood, the Union View Company, and other small publishing houses. Stereograph views were produced in the millions by photographers all over the world. Stereographs provided a very popular entertainment medium predating television and film. The collection represented here documents the natural landscape of California, San Francisco, and Yosemite. The images depicting San Francisco include the 1906 Earthquake, the Cliff House, and Ferry Building. Images of California include Catalina Island, Mount Shasta, various California Missions, including the Mission Santa Barbara, the Mission Hotel in Riverside, Mission Park San Diego, Stanford University, agricultural processing and packing, and other miscellaneous views of California. The views of Yosemite include some photographs taken by J.J. Reilly of Half Dome, Glacier Point, Bridal Veil, El Capitan, and Vernal Falls. The collection is arranged into one series: Series I. California Card Stereographs, 1906-1925.
Background
Stereographs became a very popular entertainment medium from the 1850s to the 1930s, though a few companies continued to produce stereographic images until the 1970s. Many different photographic processes were used to produce stereographs, including dauerreotypes, ambrotypes, wet plate glass positives, salt paper prints, albumen prints, and gelatin prints. Stereographs were formed of two images placed side by side and mounted on cardboard. They were commonly produced with cameras that had two lenses side by side. Stereographic cards were produced in the millions by photographers all over the world. Invented in England, the novelty and attraction of stereograph formats spread across Europe and the United States.
Extent
1 box, .3 linear feet
Restrictions
Copyright is not assigned to the San José State University Special Collections & Archives. All of the images published before 1923 reside in the public domain. All requests for permission to publish or quote from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives, as owners of the physical collection. Copyright restrictions may apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.
Availability
Collection is open for research.