See 15 Rare Civil War-Era Photos
For 50 years, a Houston housewife quietly amassed a collection of more than 500 rare Civil War images and now they’re in the hands of the Library of Congress.
The library announced the acquisition Sunday and is placing the first 77 images online. On Friday, 87-year-old Robin Stanford delivered the historic stereograph images from her collection to the library.
“The Collection has landed! The rarest and best of the Robin G. Stanford Collection — 541 Civil War-era stereo views (among them a few cartes de visite) — has been acquired by the Library of Congress!” the Center for Civil War Photography wrote in a Facebook post, noting its role in the acquisition.
“They’re just tremendously significant,” Bob Zeller, president of the organization, told the Washington Post. “These are not post-war … or after Union occupation. These are actual scenes of slavery in America.”
Most previous photos showed slaves who were recently freed in the North.
Other parts of Stanford’s collection show images of South Carolina at the start of the war. Another set depicts President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession in 1865.
Stanford says the images are like ghosts from the past that reflect part of American history.
The Library of Congress paid Stanford for the photographs. Though the cost was not divulged, the Washington Post reported Zeller saying some of the images are valued at $1,000 each.
See what is posted of the collection online so far.