The Keystone Viewing Company, located in Pennsylvania, was formed in 1892. The Keystone Viewing Company is best remembered today as a manufacturer of stereoscopes, but lantern slides were an important secondary item. This collection of glass lantern slides depicts international labor activity. The best documented industries are agriculture, forestry, maritime, and textiles.
This collection is open to the public and must be used in the Special Collections reading room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
Lantern glass negatives must be handled with care.
Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.
Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.
Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.
4.50 Linear Feet
This collection of glass lantern slides depicts international labor activity. The best documented industries are agriculture, forestry, maritime, and textiles. Keystone often published series of slides to document particular tasks. For example, 17 slides show the steps in processing sugar beets into sugar. None of the series of slides represented in the collection, however, are complete.
The Keystone Viewing Company was formed in 1892. From 1892-1965, the company's headquarters were located in Meadville, Pennsylvania. The company took its name from Pennsylvania's motto - the Keystone State. The Keystone Viewing Company is best remembered today as a manufacturer of stereoscopes, but lantern slides were an important secondary item. Glass lantern slides were produced from the 1890s through the end of World War I. The heaviest production occurred during the company's first 16 years, from 1892 to 1908.
Lantern slides have positive images on glass, intended for viewing by projection. They were used mainly in schools as visual aids in teaching social studies and other subjects.
This collection is organized into 23 series. The slides were in rough numerical order when brought to the archives, and are now arranged by subject.
Robert J. Pleasure, Executive Director of the George Meany Center for Labor Studies, purchased 254 slides at a flea market in 1989. The George Meany Memorial Archives transferred these records as part of a major transfer of their archive and library holdings to the University of Maryland Libraries in 2013.
Ira Kirshenbaum and Lynda J. DeLoach at the George Meany Memorial Archives initially processed these records in 1989. None of the slides are dated, and since Keystone often purchased negatives from competing manufacturers for its own collection, it will be difficult to pinpoint the exact date for any of the images.
The University of Maryland Libraries received the records and the finding aid in 2013. In 2017, Bria Parker exported and cleaned the finding aid contents from the Eloquent Systems database using OpenRefine, and finally transformed the finding aids into Encoded Archival Description (EAD) using a series of programmatic scripts. The finding aid was ingested into ArchivesSpace in 2018, at which point Jennifer Eidson updated the descriptive content for accuracy. Revisions include changes to biographical/historical notes, scope and content notes, and the creation of new collection numbers. Jennifer Eidson also enhanced custodial histories and re-wrote collection titles to better conform to archival standards.