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Stereograph Card Images Data Package

The Stereograph Card dataset consists of 39,526 stereograph card images from the 1850s through 1924, a subset of what was available online in the collection on loc.gov in August 2022.

A stereographic image of a woman viewing stereographs in her home. She is sitting in front of a fireplace with a cabinet for stereographs on her right.
The stereograph as an educator - Underwood patent extension cabinet in a home library

About this dataset

Stereographs consist of two nearly identical photographs or photomechanical prints, paired to produce the illusion of a single three-dimensional image, usually when viewed through a stereoscope. The Prints & Photographs Division's holdings include images produced from the 1850s to the 1940s, with the bulk of the collection dating between 1870 and 1920. Please note that terminology in historical materials and in Library descriptions does not always match the language preferred by members of the communities depicted, and may include negative stereotypes or words that offend.

View source collection Browse collection items

Metadata Metadata formats Data files
39,532 records .csv, json 39,526 .jpg files

Data package documentation

Included in this data package is comprehensive documentation of source data or collection provenance, the contents of the data package, and how the data package was created.

View the documentation

Dataset at a glance

How to access and use this data package

There are two main options for accessing and using this data package: (1) Directly downloading files from this page and (2) using Python for more advanced usage.

Direct downloads

The following list outlines the contents of this data package. Many of the individual files inside the data package are linked directly on this page which you can download and immediately use. Zipped files are available for bulk download of the entire or parts of the data package.

Sample the data
  • sample-data.zip (90.8 MB) - 1,000 randomly selected items from the 38,526 images have been provided as sample data. Included with this are 1,000 images (.jpg) and a metadata.csv, metadata.json, and manifest.txt.
  • sample-data/metadata.json (7.4 MB) - A JSON file containing the metadata for the 1,000 sample items
  • sample-data/metadata.csv (3.2 MB) - A CSV transformation of the sample JSON metadata
  • sample-data/manifest.html - For downloading individual images, this is a simple page that lists each image's file id, item id, MD5 hash (base64), file size, and URL
  • sample-data/manifest.json (178.9 KB) - A JSON file listing each image file id, their item id, MD5 hash (base64), file size, and URL
Download the documentation
  • README.html - An overview of the source data or collection provenance, the contents of the data package, and how the data package was created.
  • README.md (18.0 KB) - README as a Markdown text file
  • README.pdf (22.2 KB) - README as a PDF file
  • dpp.html - The data processing plan
  • dpp.md (5.3 KB) - The data processing plan as a Markdown text file
  • dpp.pdf (8.3 KB) - The data processing plan as a PDF file
Download the metadata
Download the digitized stereographs
  • manifest.html - For downloading individual images, this is a simple page that lists each image's file id, item id, MD5 hash (base64), file size, and URL. For bulk downloads, refer to the following Using Python section.
  • manifest.txt (6.0 MB) - A text file listing each image file id, their item id, MD5 hash (base64), file size, and URL
  • manifest.json (6.5 MB) - A JSON file listing each image file id, their item id, MD5 hash (base64), file size, and URL

Using Python

While direct downloads are more convenient for most activities, users with familiarity with writing Python can perform more advanced and complex tasks programmatically.

For your convenience we developed a number of Jupyter Notebooks to help get you started.

View the Python notebook for this data package

For bulk downloads, refer to this Python script for downloading files in bulk.

Dataset details

Source collection

Stereograph Cards collection

The image files in this dataset are derived from the Stereograph Cards collection on loc.gov. Stereographs consist of two nearly identical photographs or photomechanical prints, paired to produce the illusion of a single three-dimensional image, usually when viewed through a stereoscope. The Prints & Photographs Division's holdings include images produced from the 1850s to the 1940s, with the bulk of the collection dating between 1870 and 1920.

Rights statement The Library's stereograph collection includes thousands of photographs submitted for copyright protection. Those that were copyrighted or published in the U.S. more than 95 years ago are in the public domain because the copyright has expired. The collection also includes images not submitted for copyright that may not have been published. The term of copyright for unpublished images is the life of the creator plus 70 years. For unpublished anonymous works and works where the death date of the creator is not known, the copyright term is 120 years from the date of creation.
Date created 2022-10-05
Date updated 2024-04-03
Creators & contributors
Dataset creator:
Chase Dooley
README and Cover sheet creators and contributors:
Eileen J. Manchester
Phil Michel
Dave Woodward
Patrick Rourke
Meghan Ferriter
Alice Goldfarb
Cite this dataset
Chicago citation style:
Library Of Congress. Stereograph Card Images Data Package. [Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 2022] Software, E-Resource. https://data.labs.loc.gov/stereographs/.
APA citation style:
Library Of Congress. (2022) Stereograph Card Images Data Package. [Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress] [Software, E-Resource] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://data.labs.loc.gov/stereographs/.
MLA citation style:
Library Of Congress. Stereograph Card Images Data Package. [Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 2022] Software, E-Resource. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, </data.labs.loc.gov/stereographs/>.
Curatorial questions For curatorial questions about the content of the collection or technical questions about the dataset formats and composition, please contact the Prints and Photographs Division via the Library's Ask a Librarian service at https://ask.loc.gov/prints-photographs.
Access questions For questions and technical issues about download and access, please submit a ticket on Github or email the LC Labs Team at [email protected].
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