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Main Library 800 Vine Street Cincinnati, Ohio 45202–2009 www.CincinnatiLibrary.org

Cincinnati, Ohio Permit No. 3221

TALES F RO M T HE A RCHI VES

TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR GREAT-GRANDPARENTS’ INSTAGRAM For anyone curious about the world, all it takes is access to the internet and you’re instantly traveling the globe. More than 100 years ago, though, that window to far-off places and curious animals came in the form of a stereoscope. Stereoscopes date from the 1850s and are devices for viewing two slight variations of the same scene side-by-side on a stereograph card that appears to the viewer as a single three-dimensional image. Prior to the advent of motion pictures, stereographs were a popular form of entertainment. In 1861 Oliver Wendell Holmes created — and deliberately did not patent — a handheld, streamlined, cheaper viewer. This type of stereoscope remained in production for a century and there are still companies making them in limited production. The Library had a collection of 20,000 stereo cards and Holmes Stereo Viewers which were available to borrowers. According to the 1916 Public Library Handbook, that year they decided to move the stereoscopes and cards from the Art Rooms to the Children’s Department of the Main Library and 18 of the branches. In a later entry, the handbook stated: “Boxes holding a stereoscope and a set of stereographs are issued for a week and are in great demand.” To see our special collections, go to Digital.CincinnatiLibrary.org.

ALL LIBRARY LOCATIONS WILL BE CLOSED Monday, May 28, in observance of Memorial Day and Wednesday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day.

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