World War I glass plate stereographs, 1914-1929

9531

Collection Overview

Title:
World War I glass plate stereographs
Dates (Inclusive):
1914-1929
Abstract:
This collection consists of glass stereographs featuring scenes from World War I (1914-1918), as well as the 1927 American Legion convention in Paris, France.
Collection Number:
9531
Size:
1 Linear Feet
Location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the  library catalog.
Repository:
Special Collections Library. Pennsylvania State University.
Languages:
English

Historical Note

World War I glass plate stereographs remained popular for more than a decade after the war ended. Many images were provided by French photographers. However, since most of these French stereographs lack manufacturer's markings, specifics remain largely unknown. Scant clues concerning the provenance of these glass plates are offered in the correspondence and memos accompanying this collection. While a very small number of these stereographs are widely published, the included memos seem to indicate the vast majority of the 368 images contained in this collection were not published by Keystone View Company in their sets illustrating the World War I.

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Scope and Contents

Glass slides illustrate various aspects of trench warfare with images of graphic battle and routine military life and death. While some sterographs have formal title bars, handwritten titles are common. Coverage of both the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) and the 1927 American Legion convention (Paris, France) is extensive. Disabled veterans of the Great War are recognized at the Paris convention in a ceremony honoring the war blind.

The majority of the stereoscopic views were photographed in France and Belgium. A few images represent Germany, Italy, the Macedonian front and Thessaloniki, Greece. A wooden handheld stereo viewer labeled Unis France, with a matching wooden box is included in the collection. Approximately half of the glass slides are hand numbered, this chronological order has been physically maintained. For the finding aid, all slides have been grouped intellectually by topic.

A separate folder contains miscellaneous memos related to the glass stereographs and one French correspondence written to Keystone View Company (Meadville, Pa.). This correspondence relates to the "positive plates" representing the Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged into the following series:

1. Aircraft, and anti-aircraft artillery defense

2. American Legion veterans' organization

3. Black history/African Americans

4. Monuments, cemeteries, burials and religious aspects

5. Corpses, skeletons and gruesome wounds

6. Leaders of the Allied and Central Powers

7. Locations

8. Medical personnel and the wounded

9. Prisoners of war

10. Refugees and civilians

11. Soldiers, scenes of battle and life in the trenches

12. Tanks, artillery, equipment and camoflage

13. Victory parades and commemoritive ceremonies

14. Provenance of Glass Plates

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Original glass plate stereoviews are not available due to fragility, please use digital surrogates in their place. If access to originals is needed for research purposes please consult with the Special Collections staff.

Copyright Restrictions

Copyright, where it persists, is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred Citation

[Item Title], World War glass plate stereographs, HCLA 9531, Special Collections Library, University Libraries, Pennsylvania State University.

Processing Information

Processed by G. Johns, March, 2014.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions from this collection are available online at the World War I glass plate stereographs digital collection.

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Collection Inventory

Click associated checkboxes to select items to request. When you have finished, click the Submit Request button.

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