University of Wyoming Libraries recently received a grant from the Wyoming State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) to digitize stereograph images of Wyoming. The stereographs provide a visual historical record of different locations around the state, including Yellowstone National Park.
Popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, stereographs communicated images of unique structures, places and cultures. When viewed through a stereoscope, their three-dimensional imagery provided a glimpse of hard-to-reach destinations and cultural landmarks.
The stereographs that will be digitized come from the collections of the Laramie Plains Museum and the UW Libraries’ Emmett D. Chisum Special Collections.
The submitted grant application states, “The images depicted provide a unique view of a particular time in Wyoming history. They demonstrate the rise of ‘roughing it’ and experiencing nature as a relaxing vacation. These stereographs allowed even those who could not visit places like Yellowstone National Park to experience them in a realistic way.”
“This project is a great chance to share rare images of Yellowstone and Wyoming,” said UW Assistant Librarian Bryan Ricupero. “The stereographs offer viewers a glimpse of natural features from days past.”
After they are digitized, the stereograph images will be freely available via the UW Libraries website. The planned next phase of the digitization project will involve a partnership with UW’s Shell 3-D Visualization Center to create an augmented reality experience built on the collection.
The SHRAB promotes the identification, preservation and dissemination of Wyoming’s historical records. To accomplish this mission, the board awards grants and sponsors workshops for archives, libraries, museums and others throughout the state that collect, manage and preserve historical records. The SHRAB’s activities are made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The program is administered by the Wyoming State Archives, which is part of the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources.