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Stereo image depicting two unidentified women, possibly mother and daughter, one seated holding a stereo viewer, one standing, holding a plant on a plinth.
Stereo ambrotype, glass, depicting two unidentified women, one seated holding a stereo viewer, one standing, holding a plant on a plinth, by Charles F. Ravis, Bristol, 1857 - 1859 IL.2003.44.1.162

About the course

You may already be familiar with three-dimensional images either through 3D films (viewed through special spectacles) or still images viewed through Google cardboard or other virtual reality devices.

In this course on Victorian Stereo Photography, we will encourage you to think about and explore some of these questions:

  • How long has three-dimensional (3D) imaging been available - and what were some of the earliest 3D images?
  • Who was making these images, and who would view them?
  • What can the 19th century craze for stereoscopy teach us about the popularity of sharing images today?

Feel free to start discussing these questions now.

This free online course has been developed from a five-week course, Photography: A Victorian Sensation (2015) and will look in more detail at the 19th century craze for three-dimensional photographic images.

Using mostly articles and images from the collections held at National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh, the course invites you to explore artistic and technological developments in stereo photography, through the work of some of the foremost practitioners of the 19th century.

There will be some audio and video presentations to give you more detailed information plus discussion forums and quizzes where you can share or test your learning.

You may find this range of Blogs from National Museums Scotland of interest, as a general introduction to our work around Victorian photography. We also have this link to an overview of Victorian photographic techniques.

Don’t worry - we will remind you of these resources later in the course.

If this is your first time using FutureLearn, you may wish to visit the Using FutureLearn page and FutureLearn’s FAQs.

When you are ready, click the ‘Mark as Complete’ button and move on to the next step.

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This article is from the free online course:

Stereoscopy: An Introduction to Victorian Stereo Photography

The University of Edinburgh