The Museum of Science and Technology of Catalonia (mNACTEC) has digitised a collection of 64 photographs in stereoscopic format, dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The images belong to the American Stereoscopic Company, the US firm that in the late 19th and early 20th centuries released some 1200 photographs of high-quality stereoscopic views of various scenes from around the world.
Stereoscopic photography comprises a technique by means of which two images of the same object taken from separate perspectives create the sensation of depth when each is viewed by one eye via a device specifically created for this purpose.
The interest in the digitised collection for the mNACTEC lies in its geographical diversity, as it provides information about life in a wide range of different places, from the thronging streets of Paris or London to the rocky pathways of Palestine, along with the palaces of India and the mountains of Norway. The collection likewise includes episodes of historic significance, such as a view of the effects of the earthquake that took place in San Francisco in 1906, and a brief photographic reportage of the war between czarist Russia and the Japanese Empire between 1904 and 1905, including a number of snapshots of the front in the vicinity of the strategic Port Arthur.
This collection is the result of a donation made to the Museum in 2005 by Josep M. Martí Deulofeu.
All the photographs in the collection can be consulted online via the address of the mNACTEC image bank. The print originals remain in the Museum's photographic archive.
The historical photography collection of the mNACTEC
The historical photography collection of the mNACTEC comprises more than 100,000 photographs taken between the mid-19 and mid-20th centuries. They represent the key photographic procedures over the course of a hundred years of photography, such as daguerreotypes, collodion, albumen prints and gelatin-bromide plates, among others. The main theme of the collection covers scientific, technical and industrial heritage, although the Museum likewise holds a substantial collection of more general interest photographs, including in particular numerous Mannerist views and scenes from the early 20th century, of many towns and villages around Catalonia. The mNACTEC collection contains, among others, the works collected by the prestigious doctor and scientist Jaume Ferran, the collection of the Barcelona Higher School of Agriculture, the automobile collection of Wifredo P. Ricart and the collection of the engineer Arnau Izard.
The stereoscopic photograph collection donated by Josep M. Martí Deulofeu is an addition to more than 2000 digitised photographs already available online via the mNACTEC image bank, a small selection of the complete historical holdings held at the Museum, which are expanding year on year. At present the image bank, alongside the Martí Deulofeu collection, includes digitisations of a further three holdings: the Forns i Olivella collection, comprising stereoscopic photographs of landscapes and Mannerist scenes, mainly of Catalonia, dating from between 1910 and 1940; the Clemente-Oliveró Collection, with photographs of Catalan towns from between 1908 1915, and the mNACTEC daguerreotype collection, with portraits dating from between 1840 and 1860.