Guide to the Keystone Stereocard Collection

SJSU Special Collections & Archives
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
San José State University
One Washington Square
San José, CA 95192-0028
Phone: (408) 808-2062
Fax: (408) 808-2063
Email: special.collections@sjsu.edu
URL: http://library.sjsu.edu/sjsu-special-collections/sjsu-special-collections-and-archives
© 2010
Trustees of the California State University. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Keystone Stereocard Collection

Collection number: MSS-2010-08-25



SJSU Library Special Collections & Archives
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library

San José State University

One Washington Square

San José, CA 95192-0028

Phone: (408) 808-2062

Fax: (408) 808-2063

Email: special.collections@sjsu.edu

URL: http://library.sjsu.edu/sjsu-special-collections/sjsu-special-collections-and-archives
Collection processed by Lisa Zakharova. Finding aid EAD encoded by Lisa Zakharova. Reviewed by Danelle Moon.
© 2010 Trustees of the California State University. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Keystone Stereocard Collection
Dates: 1895-1905
Collection number: MSS-2010-08-25
Creator: San Jose State College
Collection Size: 5 boxes, 2.3 linear feet
Repository: San José State University. Library.
San José, California 95192-0028
Abstract: The Keystone Stereocard Collection contains 600 stereocards published by the Keystone View Company. Stereocards were a very popular entertainment medium from the late 1880s to the 1970s. Half of the cards in this stereocard collection are targeted towards young children. Each card contains a very basic description using simple vocabulary to foster reading and vocabulary skills in school-age children. The second half of the collection contains geographic and industrial images targeted towards adults. These cards feature many places around the world as well as many geographical and industrial places in America. The collection is arranged into two series: Series I. Educational Series, circa 1895; and Series II. Adult Series, 1895-1905
Physical location: Vault 2, Range 1B
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright is assigned to the San José State University Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives. Copyright restrictions may apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

Preferred Citation

The Keystone Stereocard Collection, MSS-2010-08-25, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Lisa Zakharova. Finding aid EAD encoded by Lisa Zakharova. Reviewed by Danelle Moon.

Stereograph History

Stereocards were a very popular entertainment medium from the late 1880s to the 1970s. Many different photographic processes were used to produce stereographs, including dauerreotypes, ambrotypes, wet plate glass positives, salt paper prints, albumen prints, and gelatin prints. Stereographs were formed of two images placed side by side and were commonly produced with cameras that had two lenses side by side. This selection features only paper prints from wet collodion negatives.
The Keystone View Company was created in 1892 in Meadville, Pennsylvania by B.L. Singley as a company whose primary focus was to create a large variety of stereocards. By 1905 it was the largest sterographic company in the world. Keystone created and distributed millions of stereocards throughout the United States. In 1898 they organized their highly successful Education Department which produced boxed sets for school instruction of images and descriptive text illustrating culture, industry, commerce and politics world-wide. Stereocards came in different sets marked by a letter. Customers could buy stereocards by the "book", a box shaped like a book which contained 50, 100, or 200 stereocards. This collection prominently features set "P", the educational set designed for elementary school-aged children. While stereocards had been losing popularity shortly after cinema became one of the most popular entertainment mediums, the Keystone Company continued to produce stereocards until 1972 when it went out of business.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Keystone StereoCard Collection contains 600 stereocards published by the Keystone View Company. Stereocards were a very popular entertainment medium from the late 1880s to the 1970s. Half of the cards in this stereocard collection are targeted towards young children. Each card contains a very basic description using simple vocabulary to foster reading and vocabulary skills in school-age children. The second half of the collection contains geographic and industrial images targeted towards adults. These cards feature many places around the world as well as many geographical and industrial places in America.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into two series: Series I. Educational Series, circa 1895; and Series II. Adult Series, 1895-1905

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Keystone View Company
Stereographs
Education--Children
History--United States
History--Native Americans
Natural Landmarks--History
Natural Landmarks-- Europe

Related Material

The California Stereocard Collection, MSS-2010-09-18

Bibliography

University of Washington Stereocard Collection. http://content.lib.washington.edu/stereoweb/index.html 
Ritzenthaler, Mary Lynn. Photographs: Archival Care And Management.

Collection Contents

Boxes 1-2

Series : I
Educational Series circa 1895

Physical Description: 2 boxes

Scope and Content Note

The cards in this series (Set P) are targeted towards young children. Each card contains a very basic description using simple vocabulary to foster reading and vocabulary skills in school-age children. Subjects featured in these educational cards include: Children's activities, geographic places, agriculture, animals, industry, Native Americans.

Arrangement

This series is arranged by stereocard number.
Boxes 3-5

Series : II
Adult Series 1895-1905

Physical Description: 3 boxes

Scope and Content Note

This series contains geographic and industrial images targeted towards adults. These cards feature many places around the world as well as many geographical and industrial places in America.
Geographic locations featured in this series covering the US include: Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Unknown (Cotton Gin).
Other countries include Algeria, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Ceylon, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, the Panama Canal, Philippines, Poland, Rock of Gibraltar, Russia, Spain, Sicily, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tangier, Tasmania, Turkey, Venezuela, West Indies, Unknown (Beet Production sites).

Arrangement

This series is arranged by stereocard number and geographic region.