Library of Congress Awards 2023-2024 National Stereoscopic Association Research Fellowships
The Library of Congress today announced Rachel Lee Hutcheson, Isabelle Lynch and Lynn Marie Mitchell as its next class of fellows awarded the National Stereoscopic Association Research Fellowship.
Established in 2022 with a generous monetary donation from the National Stereoscopic Association, the fellowship supports research on stereoscopy and the history of photography within the Prints and Photographs Division holdings and the unparalleled photographic history collections at the Library of Congress — including over 15 million photographs, rare publications, manuscript materials and historic newspapers.
Stereographs are paired photographs that provide an illusion of three-dimensionality when placed in a special viewer called a stereoscope. They were among the first photographic entertainment formats that became popular from the Civil War to the early decades of the 20th century when new technologies like motion pictures captured the public’s attention. Recent technical innovations, including virtual reality, have brought renewed focus to both the history and continued use of the stereo format.
The Library’s Prints and Photographs Division is the premier research center for photographs in this format, holding stereographs dating from early daguerreotypes in the 1850s to published sets from the 1930s. Over 52,000 have been digitized and are available online at https://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/stereo/.
National Stereoscopic Association Research Fellows
Rachel Lee Hutcheson, a Ph.D. candidate in art history and archaeology at Columbia University was awarded $1,000 to conduct research in the Frederic Eugene Ives and Herbert Eugene Ives Papers in the Manuscript Division at the Library in September 2023. Hutcheson’s dissertation explores epistemological shifts in the understanding of early color photography (1890-1920) within contemporaneous scientific and social debates. Frederic Ives was a pivotal figure in the development of color stereoscopic photography and the technology for its presentation through projection.
Isabelle Lynch, a Ph.D. candidate in the history of art at the University of Pennsylvania, was awarded $4,000 for “Subterranean Fire: Artificial Illumination in Underground Photography and Images of the World Under Water,” the third chapter of her dissertation, “Flash Light: Photography and Artificial Illumination c. 1839-1939.” Her work explores the practice of 19th century subterranean photography and its parallels to notions of western expansion through the materials extracted from the earth that made artificial illumination possible. During her fellowship in September 2023, Lynch will explore the Prints and Photographs Division’s collections of artificial light stereographs of Mammoth Cave and textual and photographic material in the Frances Benjamin Johnston collection documenting her exploration of the caverns.
Lynn Marie Mitchell, an independent researcher and former archivist for the National Park Service and Western Archeological and Conservation Center, was awarded $4,000 for “The Interpersonal Relationships Among 19th Century Photographers: Ard G. Emery, Brainard F. Childs, Charles D. Cole and Christian B. Brubaker." Mitchell will conduct research in November 2023 and March 2024 across the Library’s photographic, manuscript and newspaper collections and the records of the U.S. Copyright Office to identify primary source materials on Ard G. Emery, Brainard F. Childs, Christian B. Brubaker and Charles D. Cole, four photographers from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan who knew each other and worked together for over 15 years.
The National Stereoscopic Association Research Fellowship is awarded annually by the Library. Additional information about the fellowship is available at this link: https://www.loc.gov/rr/print/national_stereoscopic.html.
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