Imagine that you are doing research on Egypt and come across a curious source: a book from 1905 called Egypt Through the Stereoscope, which comes with a set of 100 cards that display two nearly identical photographs. What are you to make of this resource, and how might you use it in research? What are these cards, and why do they have two images? This course explores the use, production, and cultural significance of those cards, which are called stereographs. When viewed through a device called a stereoscope, stereographs present a single, three-dimensional image. Between the mid-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, stereographs were the leading visual mass medium, offering detailed three-dimensional views of everything from ancient monuments to current events. Relatively inexpensive, stereographs and stereoviewers were common in schools and middle-class homes. Indeed, stereographs were a dominant form of photography until the 1920s and an important source of education and entertainment, touted for presenting life-like views of their subjects. Not only does this course provide background information about stereographs, but it also examines how to use them in research projects. Examples are provided from TIMEA (Travelers in the Middle East Archive).
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