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About this collection

The Underwood & Underwood Egypt Stereoviews digital collection includes 101 images of Egypt commissioned by the Underwood & Underwood publishing company in the 1890s. The photographs, originally sold as a boxed sets, document 19th century Egyptian culture and the history of travel in the Middle East. The wide geographic scope of its subjects spanning along the Nile River, the Suez Canal towns and the Egyptian deserts render a thorough introductory visual representation of Egypt as opposed to the contemporaneous amateur and subjectively compiled albums of its time. Of particular interest are the brief descriptions and the six language translated captions on the back of each card which, content wise, often contain inaccuracies that may be interpreted as colonial approaches on the part of the publishing company.

The Underwood & Underwood Egypt Stereoviews were originally purchased by American University in Cairo President Richard F. Pedersen in 1985. Two years later, Pedersen expanded the collection by purchasing the full set of stereoscope slides. The stereoviews were digitized and described by the Rare Books and Special Collections Library in May and June 2012.

 

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