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California State Library Digitizes 10,000 19th Century 3D Pics

California State Library (Sacramento, CA,USA) is digitizing more than 10,000 old sepia-toned 3-D photos - most from the 1800s. The pictures are dusted off and converted to computer-ready images by Vincent Beiderbecke and Mike Bartok before being uploaded to the Phereo 3D stereoscopic sharing web site.

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3D Stereocard of Half Dome shot from Glacier Point in Yosemite during the late 19th century. Credit:Randy Pench/

Photos Subjects

The photos subjects ranged from majestic outdoor settings like Yosemite’s Half Dome to news-style photos of major events such as the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. They also captured everyday portraits of Americans at work and play, from Gold Rush miners to tourists visiting “Toyland” at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. 

Unretouched Stereocards

At the state library, most of the digitized images are shown online in their original, untouched form. “Our job is not here to be photo retouchers; we’re not doing Photoshop magic,” said the 26-year-old Beiderbecke, who has a degree in photography from California State University, Sacramento. “We try to be true to the original image, without altering it.

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View on Phereo

Visit if you want to check the stereocards yourself.




Source; Sacbee paper by Claudia Buck.