Members of the Marion Light Artillery cleaning a gun in one of the batteries on Coles Island, S.C., circa 1861.Osborn & Durbec—Robin G. Stanford Collection/Library of Congress
Members of the Marion Light Artillery cleaning a gun in one of the batteries on Coles Island, S.C., circa 1861.
Osborn & Durbec—Robin G. Stanford Collection/Library of
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Go Inside a Newly Public Trove of Rare Civil War-Era Pictures

Mar 29, 2015

Hundreds of rare Civil War images, mostly made by Southern photographers, have been released online.

Collector Robin Stanford sold more than 500 images to the Library of Congress for an undisclosed amount, the Washington Post reports. "They’re just tremendously significant," said Bob Zeller, president of the Center for Civil War Photography. "These are not post-war. These are actual scenes of slavery in America."

Stanford, 87 and of Houston, had been collecting the images—many of them are stereo pictures, or two of the same frame that are printed on one card and meant to be seen in 3-D via a stereo viewer—since the 1970s. She had planned to donate her extensive archive to her son, John, but after his unexpected death last year, she sold parts of her collection to support her daughter-in-law and grandchildren.

“I’m so glad they’re here, because they will be available for everybody,” she told the Post. “On the other hand, I’m going to miss them.”

The Library has already digitized 77 of Stanford's photographs. Among them are scenes from plantations in South Carolina, as well as pictures of a country in mourning after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

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