For fifty years, Houston resident Robin Stanford quietly amassed a collection of Civil War-era photos. In 2015, she sold her collection to the Library of Congress, which swiftly set about digitizing the images.
Originally meant to be displayed in a stereoscopic viewer that would create an illusion of depth, the photos document a wide range of sights - from the Lincoln funeral processions in Philadelphia and New York to the just-liberated plantations of South Carolina. These latter images show African Americans just at the historical moment when they were transitioning out of generations of slavery. St. Helena Island, off the coast of South Carolina, had been captured by the Union in 1862. The slaves were liberated and one of the first freedman's schools was established on the island by abolitionist educator Laura Towne.
Other items include the crew and commander of the famous ironclad ship Monitor, a battle-scarred Fort Sumter, and Richmond's famous Tredegar Iron Works, the most important site of Confederate munitions production during the war.
The Robin Stanford collection, like these colorized Civil War photos, provides a striking glimpse into a lost world.