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Kentucky stereograph cards composite collection

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: 2019_184

Composite collection of 37 Kentucky-related stereograph photographs acquired from multiple sources grouped together for ease of use and access. Includes views of Mammoth Cave, the Southern Exposition, and destruction from the Louisville tornado of 1890.

An early form of 3D photograph, stereographs, also called stereoviews, were produced from the mid-1850s to after the first World War. Stereographs are made of two nearly identical images shot with a camera with two lenses approximately two inches apart, that when mounted next to each other on a card and looked at through a stereoscope appear three-dimensional.

An early form of entertainment, education, and news reporting, stereographs were a commercial success with a heyday in the 1870s - 1880s. Publishing companies sold large sets of stereographs with themes including fictional narratives, views from around the world, political events and parades, and scenes from wars and natural disasters. Stereographs were both plentiful and affordable and could be found in many homes during the late nineteenth century.


  • 1870s-1890s

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

These materials are assumed to be in the public domain.


37 photographs (1 box of stereographs)

Kentucky Stereograph Cards Composite Collection
Elizabeth Reilly
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections Repository

Ekstrom Library, Lower Level Room 17
Louisville KY 40292
502 852-6752