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Stereoview Photograph Collection

 Collection — external hard drive: DIG_00012
Identifier: P027

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 45 stereoviews depicting various scenes and persons from the District of Columbia. Stereoviews, also called “stereocards” or “stereotypes,” are two nearly identical card-mounted images placed side by side. When viewed through a stereo viewer or stereograph, they give the image a three-dimensional effect. They were very popular from 1854 through the mid-1930s and often illustrate historic and exotic locations.


  • Creation: Undated

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on viewing the prints from the collection. All photographs are in the public domain, therefore there are no restrictions on reproduction. Reproductions should appear with the proper attribution indicating that the photograph is housed in the Stereoview Photograph Collection and indicate that they appear “courtesy of the DC Public Library, Special Collections.”


1 Boxes


Processed without series.

Custodial History

Images transferred from the Washington Historic Image Collection (HIC) in 2006. There is no deed of gift and it is uncertain as to how the library acquired the majority of these photographs. A few images do note the donor on the rear of the image.

Processing Information

Most images were originally housed with the Washington Historic Image Collection (HIC), while others were assembled from various donors. During preservation work on the HIC, it was decided to create one unified collection to decrease the likelihood of further damage to the photographs. Those images from the HIC often had a negative created for each image. A sticker containing the negative number was then affixed to the image. Often the number was affixed to the front of the mounting and repeatedly to the image itself. The stickers will remain attached because their removal might cause irreversible damage to the image. The assembled images were each assigned a number, placed in a protective sleeve and then stored in an archival box. An image list was created and is attached.

Stereoview Collection
An inventory of the Stereoview Photograph Collection at DC Public Library
Finding aid prepared by Mark S. Greek.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001