May 20, 2022

California State Library is Digitizing and Providing Online Access to 3-D (Stereoscopic) Images From 1800s

From the Sacramento Bee:

They’re coming out of the vault and into the digital age. In slow but meticulous work at the California State Library in downtown Sacramento, more than 10,000 old sepia-toned 3-D photos – most from the 1800s – are being dusted off and converted to computer-ready images.

Officially known as stereoscopic photos, they were a popular turn-of-the-century parlor activity, shared like postcards and viewed through hand-held viewers that turned the side-by-side double photos into a single 3-D image.


He [Vincent Beiderbecke, a state library digital specialist] and another digital specialist, Matt Bartok, scan the double images and upload them to a 3-D sharing website, As of now, they have 93 black-and-white photos on the site but hope to have 200 uploaded by year’s end. Each can be viewed in several formats, including an anaglyph version that requires the red-and-blue cardboard glasses for the full 3-D effect and a “wiggle” format where the people and places appear to move.

Read the Complete Article (912 Words)

Direct to California State Library Stereoscopic Collection on Phereo

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.