Stereogranimator – a vintage modern perspective

Stephen A. Schwarzman Building / Photography Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, NYPL

I’m a photo junkie.

I’m working on my archive of more than 20,000+ photos of architectural tile and mosaics sites, collected over the past 20 years. We are categorizing, keywording and getting all up in to the metadata. It’s a big job!

Many libraries are heaving with massive amounts of imagery from former stereograms, daguerrotypes, negatives, and silver gelatin prints…
How to bring the past into the digital age?

One project I’ve found that is making vintage imagery fun and accessible to more people is called Reaching for the Out of Reach run by writer/artist Joshua Heineman.  The project is now part of the New York Public Library Labs and is centered around the library’s online collection of 40,000 stereographs— you know, those double images that look 3-D when you put them into the special viewing holder.…(its an older version of the midcentury “ViewMaster”  – which we loved!)

Boy looking at stereograph of the Sphinx, using a Holmes stereoscope. Cover of January 14, 1922 edition of the Saturday Evening Post.  via wikipedia commons

Boy looking at stereograph of the Sphinx, using a Holmes stereoscope. Cover of January 14, 1922 edition of the Saturday Evening Post. via wikipedia commons

About reviving an interest in history and archival imagery Joshua Heineman writes in Huff Post:

Reaching for the Out of Reach was ultimately a 21st century raid of the NYPL’s archive of 19th century treasure. I didn’t ask permission. I didn’t think to ask, being under a spell of wide-eyed discovery at the time and not expecting anyone to notice. This is the sort of behavior that has led to cease-and-desist letters and lawsuits in recent years. Instead, the library seemed invigorated by the creative reuse, pointing to my project in media and in seminars as an example of a way forward for heritage institutions in the all-access jungle of modern technology. Eventually NYPL Labs, an experimental unit of the library focusing on technology and user collaboration initiatives, began work on the Stereogranimator project to give every patron — no matter the level of technical ability or aptitude — access to the same kind of interaction with the library’s stereo collection.

In honor of Getting Outdoors this Summer –

Here’s my little curated sampling of ANIMATED GIFs and 3-D images from the archive: ENJOY!!

St. Augustine, Date Palm. Stereoscopic Studies. American Scenery. (ca. 1870)
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at http://stereo.nypl.org/gallery/index
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

Big Tree Starr King; 366 feet high, 50 feet circumference, Calaveras County. ca. 1864?-1874?
ANAGLYPH made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at http://stereo.nypl.org/gallery/index
ANAGLYPH made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

Entrance to Forsyth Park, Savannah, Georgia. (1867?-1900?)
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at http://stereo.nypl.org/gallery/index
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

“These aren’t mere symbols of national storybook history,

but ghosts of our very real past. ” – Joshua Heineman

Cocoanut [coconut] trees in the white sands of Florida, U.S.A. Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views. / United States.
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at http://stereo.nypl.org/gallery/index
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

“The library clearly has reevaluated its role within the Internet information ecosystem and found a set of new identities. Let’s start from here: One, the New York Public Library is a social network with three million active users and two, the New York Public Library is a media outfit.” –  Alexis C. Madrigal

Men walking over a bridge in a park, Cleveland Ohio, 1865?-1899
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at http://stereo.nypl.org/gallery/index
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

Two Women standing in front of tree. (1867-1874) Watkins, Carleton E., 1829-1916 — Photographer
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at http://stereo.nypl.org/gallery/index
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

“…the word “digital” is becoming unnecessary because “digital is woven into everything.” –  from the Atlantic article by Alexis C. Madrigal

Lamon’s Log Cabin, the first erected in the Valley. Yosemite Valley, California. (1870?-1885?)
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at http://stereo.nypl.org/gallery/index
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

Check out the archive for yourself…

Resources: 

What Big Media Can Learn From the New York Public Library By Alexis C. Madrigal

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/print/2011/06/what-big-media-can-learn-from-the-new-york-public-library/240565/

NY Public Library Breathes the GIFt of Life Into Old Photos by Howard Hurst on January 31, 2012

http://hyperallergic.com/46328/nypl-stereogranimator/

Sterogranimator, project of the New York Public Library

http://stereo.nypl.org/

Comments
2 Responses to “Stereogranimator – a vintage modern perspective”
  1. Kate Vogt says:

    Coooll That was fun!

    From: Lillian Sizemore’s Mind’s Eye Reply-To: Lillian Sizemore’s Mind’s Eye Date: Friday, July 5, 2013 8:44 PM To: Kate Vogt Subject: [New post] Stereogranimator a vintage modern perspective

    WordPress.com sfmosaic posted: “I’m a photo junkie. I’m working on my archive of more than 20,000+ photos of architectural tile and mosaics sites, collected over the past 20 years. We are categorizing, keywording and getting all up in to the metadata. It’s a big job! Many librari”

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