Stereograph cards, those double images of the same image on one card so each could be placed in a stereograph viewer and the image then appeared nearly 3D. Those are the majority of the some 541 Civil War era (1860s) images collected in the mid-20th century by history lover Robin Stanford of Texas. The photographers of those photos included Osborn & Durbec, Hubbard & Mix, G.O. Brown, George N. Barnard, Nicholas Brown, George S. Cook, Samuel A. Cooley, Schrieber & Glover, George T. Lape and H. C. Foster, McPherson & Oliver, Engle & Furlong, Anderson, Bierstadt, Buell, Campbell, Ennis, Gurney, C.H. Hall, Lumpkin, Morgan, Nowell, Quimby, Selden, John P. Soule, Souder, and J.N. Wilson.
It was Robin Stanford who began in the 1970s collecting where ever she could find such images for her own enjoyment. In December 2014 she allowed the large collection to be sold to the Library of Congress in Washington, D. C. They have been categorizing each and digitally scanning them. About 138 of these images are now on the Library of Congress site for everyone to view and you are able to save to your computer as an image also. As groups of the photos are scanned they too will be added online.
What researchers will find especially interest of some of these previous unknown images are the images of African-American black life under the institution of slavery, as well as scenes from Lincoln’s funeral procession, and the war-ravaged American landscape.
It just goes to show that many things are still in private collections, unknown to the rest of the country. You should check with some family members and see what they may have forgotten about or didn’t think anyone would be interest in — say you are !
Photos: The Funeral of Lincoln, Springfield, Ill – May 1865; Ruins of the officer’s quarters in April 1861 at Ft. Sumter; Men and Ladies at Blythwood Plantation at Ladies Island in S. C.
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