Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the California Stereograph Collection
MSS-2010-09-18  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (94.99 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Stereograph History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material
  • Bibliography

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: California Stereograph Collection, 1906-1925
    Dates: 1906-1925
    Collection number: MSS-2010-09-18
    Collector: Moreland Steven; Creators: Keystone Stereographic Company, Underwood and Underwood, The Union View Company, and others
    Collection Size: 1 box, .3 linear feet
    Repository: San José State University. Library.
    San José, California 95192-0028
    Abstract: 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.
    Physical location: Vault 2, Range 1B
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    The California Stereograph Collection, MSS-2010-09-18, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Lisa Zakharova. Finding aid EAD encoded by Lisa Zakharova. Reviewed by Danelle Moon.

    Stereograph History

    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.
    Stereograph cards were first made available commercially In 1854 by the London Stereoscopic Company. The card view is a double-image photograph mounted on cardboard. Noted photographers such as Edward Muybridge, B.W. Kilburn, and J.J. Reilly became well known for their stereographic work, though only a few of the images in this collection can be attributed to J.J. Reilly, who later became quite famous for his photography of Yosemite.
    Stereographs provided a very popular entertainment medium predating television and film. Keystone and Underwood produced stereographic sets packaged in box sets with spines that resembled classic book bindings, accompanied by descriptive guide books written by recognized scholars, copyrighted maps depicting the exact location of the photograph, and the arrangement of sets by subject intended for primary and secondary school instruction. Stereographic views cover a diverse range of subjects and include topographic views, local history, events, industries and trade, urban and country life, portraits of famous people, and the production of box sets of World War I and World War II. The box sets ranged in size from 50 to 200 images per box, and were viewed through a stereoscope, which produced a unique three-dimensional (3-D) effect.
    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. This set contains some hand-colored photographs, but the collection is an artificial collection, where the collector purchased individual cards and organized them in similar subject categories defined by Keystone and Underwood. The cards are contained in an Underwood Company box.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The California Card 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. Invented in England, the novelty and attraction of stereograph formats spread across Europe and the United States. Stereograph cards were first made available commercially in 1854 by the London Stereoscopic Company. The card view is a double-image photograph mounted on cardboard. Noted photographers such Edward Muybridge, B.W. Kilburn, and J.J. Reilly became well known for their stereographic work, though only a few of the images in this collection can be attributed to J.J. Reilly, who later became quite famous for his photography of Yosemite.
    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.

    Arrangement

    The collection is arranged into one series: Series I. California Stereocards, 1906-1925.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Keystone View Company
    Union View Company
    Underwood & Underwood
    Stereographs
    Education--Geography
    San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, Calif., 1906.
    History--California
    Natural Landmarks--History

    Related Material

    The Keystone View Company Stereocard Collection, MSS-2010-08-25

    Bibliography

    Darrah, William Culp. Stereo Views: A History of Stereographs in America and Their Collection. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: Times and News Publishing Co., 1964.
    New York Public Library Digital Collection. United States in Stereo: In the Robert N. Dennis Collection of Stereoscopic Views. http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/explore/dgexplore.cfm 
    Ritzenthaler, Mary Lynn. Photographs: Archival Care And Management. Society of American Archivists, 2006.