Victorian Oxford through the Stereoscope

27 April 2019 11.00am 5.00pm


Blackwell Hall, Weston Library (Map)


Education |


Join photo historians for an activity day exploring Victorian Oxford and the wonders of 3D vision. Find out what historical photos can reveal, make your own lift-the-flap model of the brain, and dress up for a Victorian selfie.

2-3.15pm: 3D Experience: Victorian Oxford through the Stereoscope (Lecture Theatre). Between 1857 and 1860 the firm Spiers and Son, from 102 & 103 High Street, Oxford, commissioned some of the most famous stereo photographers of the period to document Oxford in 3D. They used the Stereoscope, a magical optical instrument that was introduced in Britain during the Great Exhibition of 1851. Using original negatives from the Weston Library archives and positive prints from Dr Brian May’s collection, photo historian Denis Pellerin will take you on a journey back in time through the streets of Oxford. Pellerin will explain how the images were taken and will show you how you can easily emulate Oxford photographers of a bygone era with a simple smartphone app. Step into the 3D images, visit Oxford ‘in depth’ as it was then, meet one of the very first photo bombers, and discover the city of ‘Spiers’ as you’ve never seen it before.

11am-2pm and 3.30-5pm: drop-in stereoscopic photography workshops (Blackwell Hall). 3D photography with a smartphone. Rebecca Sharpe and Denis Pellerin, from Dr Brian May’s London Stereoscopic Company, will explain how you can take stunning 3D photos with any smartphone equipped with a camera and a cheap, user-friendly app. A competition for the best stereo photos of Oxford taken with a smartphone will be organised by the London Stereoscopic Company. There will be prizes for the ten best photos and the winners will see their images published on the LSC’s website.

11am-5pm: How can old photographs help researchers track climate change, reconstruct lost buildings and understand human impact on the planet? HEIR – the Historic Environment Image Resource – is a digital archive of tens of thousands of old photographs. Meet researchers to discover the tricks they use to date mystery pictures, find out how you can contribute to the project, and try the 'then and now' photo challenge.

11am-5pm: Make your own lift-the-flap model of the human head, based on a folding anatomical booklet from 1895.

 The Logo for the Helen Hamlyn Trust


Free admission.

This event is listed under: Free events; Special events
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