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Keystone View Company Stereocard Collection
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Collection Details
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  • Publication Rights
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: SJSU Special Collections & Archives
    Title: Keystone View Company Stereocard Collection
    creator: Keystone View Company
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS.2010.08.25
    Physical Description: 5 boxes (2.3 Linear Feet)
    Date (inclusive): 1895-1905
    Abstract: The Keystone View Company Stereocard Collection contains more than 600 stereocards published by the Keystone View Company. The Stereocards were used for educational purposes as well as for entertainment. The Keystone View Company had branches throughout the country and Europe with staff photographers taking photographs throughout the world.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been 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.

    Historical Note

    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 View Company Stereocard Collection contains 600 stereocards published by the Keystone View Company. 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.


    This collection is arranged into three series: Series I. Keystone "Primary" (P Series); Series II. Keystone "600 Set"; and Series III. Perfect-Stereograph

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Stereoscopic views
    Photographic prints
    Keystone View Company